I prefer the anticipation to the aftermath. I wish it weren't so. I love the lights, the smells, the baking, gifts piled under the tree, shopping, wrapping (well, not so much the wrapping), watching the golden heads make gifts... And somehow when that's over; I feel let down. It's not as satisfying as I anticipated. And my middle aches. It's as if Christmas falls short, but I'm supposed to be celebrating the fulfillment of prophecy that my perfect, God Savior came down from heaven and became a baby boy: one significant step in the plan to save me. I'm not even sure what the lights, gifts, goodies and wrapping (wrapping for sure) have to do with any of that. Yes, we Christians come up with all sorts of justifications. The lights represent the star in the sky… The gifts remind us of the three wise mens' gifts…. Goodies represent the spices the kings brought… (There's no justification for the wrapping.)
Over and over, my expectations fail to satisfy: birthday gifts, desserts, dates, words of affirmation, acts of service, back rubs. I always think it sounds so thrilling and "perfect," but then it comes to pass and it doesn't quite meet the mark.
Thankfully, Christ will be the one thing that doesn't fall short! When I read Isaiah's prophecy in Chapter 6 and John's multiple descriptions of worshiping the Lamb in Revelation, there's no reason to think that worship left a void in ANYONE! Not in Isaiah, not in the elders, not in the angels or John. And when I worship, it satisfies.
There's a lesson in this. When the lights twinkle, presents are opened, family surrounded and goodies abound, I need to be focused on Christ, to be worshiping Him in that moment. Worship is 24•7 lifestyle: constant communing with God, ascribing to Him the glory He deserves.
At the end of the famous love chapter (1 Corinthians 13), Paul writes of the greatest virtues: faith, hope and love. And he notes that the greatest is love. Christ is love. When we meet Jesus face to face, both faith and hope will be realized and not necessary any longer. I hope for a great Christmas experience, I have faith in my family to make it a great experience, but experiencing Christ, worshiping Christ, is to experience love that never ends!
Though the presents not be received with excitement,Until I meet Him on the day faith and hope are realized, I will wait with patience (Romans 8:25). I will worship Him, especially at Christmas. Now, if I would only remember not to forget.
and the cinnamon rolls are gone,
and the mittens I bought are too small,
and the leftovers are gone,
and my family is driving me crazy
and I long for solitude,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
I will worship God, the Lord is my strength;
He satisfies my Christmas;
He lets me experience Him and surrounds me with His presence.
Habakuk 3:17-18 (Christmas paraphrase)
Will you join me in worshiping Him, the only one who satisfies this Christmas? Not gifts, not family, not goodies that fall short, but completely full of Him!