Today holds the expectation of the coming week, Advent holds the expectation of Christmas Day, and our lives should hold the expectation of seeing Christ Jesus face to face.
For many, expectations mean struggles of “trying hard”, working to make things happen, or making ourselves “will” things into being. And while positive thinking has its benefits, it is misapplied when it becomes a prod for other people in our lives.
The expectation of this season, the one that revolves around the faith we put into God’s word, is often more of a resting posture.
We wait upon God, and recognize His authority to do what only He can do: forgive us our sins against Him, fulfill our deepest needs and longings, save us and give us life.
We find it most difficult to wait in those circumstances, and dredge up platitudes to propel ourselves forward. “God helps those who help themselves”.
Such things are simply cover for the doubts we hold that God will show up, let alone come through on promises to us.
We act because we don’t believe anyone else will.
But faith in another, in God, makes us wait until the time is right in eyes other than our own.
Expectations and faith, which go so well in our thinking, are then at odds.
Today, allow some time to rest in God. Displace the worries and the frantic pace with a quiet confidence in His presence. Believe He approaches us closely in the Christmas season, just as in that time so long ago, when coming as a newborn child.
God came to earth, and dwelt among us. This is the wonder of Christmas. This is the amazing and mind boggling situation that was both revealed and shrouded in the prophecies of the Prophets.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
We can rest, we can be still, we can soak in the everlasting peace and strength of God, Himself.
The carol for today is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
The words of this song begin with the wish that God would keep us in good spirits, and goes on to give us good reasons why. It is likely that it was a song of the sixteenth century.