For the last few days, when the number of days until Christmas was small enough for her to keep up with, my youngest daughter has woken me up each day like this:
“Dad…dad!! (shaking my arm)…DAD!!! It’s only (insert number here) more sleeps until CHRISTMAS!!!”
Normally, I’m not a fan of the early wake-up, but in this case, with a kid that sweet, I’m cool with it. To say that my girls are excited about tomorrow morning would be a colossal understatement (my boy is still too young to care about anything beyond the wrapping paper and boxes). They are eat up with it! And I love it!
I love the anticipation in their voices as they go to their little Advent calendars each day to open the latest one, wondering what it says. I love their inquisitiveness when a new present appears under the tree. I love their questions about their requests and whether or not Nanny would get them such and such.
I love seeing the near-angst that comes from having to wait…everyday, a little closer still, but not quite there. I love the exasperation when I would tell them the answer to “how many more sleeps until Christmas” and they replied with groans too deep for words!
They are asleep now (I reckon)…dreaming dreams of tomorrow morning. Caroline said she’d be watching the clock all night…waiting until 7:00 (daddy and mommy need their sleep!) to come and pounce on our heads and exclaim in a voice that could shatter glass “IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!” For now, though, they wait.
Like Israel, waiting for the Messiah promised by Isaiah 700 years prior to Christ’s birth. “For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given.” (Is. 9:6)
Like Mary, who carried the baby Jesus for 9 months before The Arrival in Bethlehem. “And the days were accomplished that she should be delivered…” (Luke 2:6)
Like the disciples after the horror of Calvary, huddled in locked rooms, waiting to hear if the rumors of resurrection were true.
Like me…like you, perhaps…waiting for Him to come again. Waiting for the One Who defeated death and the grave to come and make all things new. We wait. We long. We cry out:
“Come Thou long expected Jesus…born to set Thy people free.”
So tonight, as my kids wait, asleep in their beds, I wait for their joy tomorrow morning…and I pray you and I have that same joy in our hearts everyday as we wait with eager expectation for our Lord’s 2nd Advent.
Amen…come Lord Jesus.
God bless everyone…and Merry Christmas!