Isaiah 9:6-7 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (NIV)
The Christmas of 1999 was one that will be remembered in our home forever. The holiday season got off to a good start when our son surprised his mother, on her birthday, by coming home from Germany. It had been almost eighteen months since we had seen him, and she had no idea that her son had got military leave and a plane ticket home.
Our daughter topped this on Christmas Day. After we had finished opening all the presents under the tree she gave one more to open. My wife let me open it, and inside I found a silver picture frame with the words, "I was born in the year 2000", written across the top and bottom of the frame. It was that Christmas morning we received the long-awaited news that we were going to be grandparents. They had told us it was their plan to wait about ten years before they would have any children.
We spent the next few months in anticipation and planning for the birth of our grandchild. We were blessed in July with a beautiful, healthy granddaughter.
At this time of year, we are once again anticipating the celebration of the birth of a child. As we are busy preparing with anticipating hearts the joy of Christmas, let us not forget the real reason for Jesus' birth. He came to die for us, to offer us the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life.
I believe God gave us the gift of anticipation to be used in sharing the joy of upcoming events, like Christmas and the birth of a child. Last Christmas we started preparing with excited anticipation for the birth of our first grandchild. As we prepare with excited anticipation for the joy of gift giving and receiving, let us not forget to share the greatest gift of all, the birth of Jesus, the Christ and Lord. How much greater and joyous should our anticipation be as we go through life expecting blessings from God and someday being with Him in heaven.
Prayer: Dear God, help us use the gift of anticipation to show our joy in the blessings you have given us. Put the desire in our hearts to share this blessing with others and to anticipate great things from you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.