Thursday, December 20, 2007

Anticipating ...

Anticipation is a powerful thing and there are few times in a year when anticipation is higher than now. We are just a handful of days away from Christmas and anticipation is growing with each passing day. It used to be that the anticipation was for the presents Iwas going to receive. As I got a little bit older the presents I would receive were still a source of great anticipation, but so were the presents that I had chosen for others. I began to appreciate the joy of giving and seeing the look of surprise, happiness or on occasion confusion. The anticipation continues to this day on the presents I have chosen, okay the presents my wife and I have chosen, to give to others. I look forward to seeing joy on the faces of those who will open the presents. Having grandchildren has greatly increased the anticipation of watching my family as the presents are opened. To be honest I don't think much about what I might receive, although as my grandchildren get older and begin to have more of a hand in personally choosing presents for me that is fun. But again it is watching their faces as I open the present and then listen to the rationale as to why they chose that particular present for me.

But the greatest antcipation these days is the time that I will be able to spend with my children (that includes those who married my kids) and grandchildren. We will have another first Christmas this year. It will be our 9 month old grandson's first Christmas. It will also be my oldest grandson's first Christmas as a double digit (he recently turned 10).

With all of the anticipation that have as we celebrate Christmas, I was trying to imagine the heightened anticipation that Joseph and Mary must have had that first Christmas. Knowing that the Messiah was to be born any day, knowing that they were out of town and had no real place to stay and knowing that there was so much they didn't know about this child they were about to receive. How high must their anticipation have been?

My anticipation needs to include the realization of sheer joy of the Christmas message. That "a Savior has been born" to me and you. That this is "good news of great joy". That I need to continue to react as the shepherds did on that first Christmas. I need to hurry to learn more about him and to spontaneously tell others about what I have seen and heard about this Savior.

So what are you anticipating this Christmas?


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