When it doesn’t feel like Christmas

 

There have been times in my life when Christmas seemed….well…sad.
Doctors warn those who suffer (or have suffered) from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder need to be especially wary during the holidays. Modest expectations are essential to keeping emotions level. But are unmet expectations at the heart of the holiday blues?

Perhaps we are anticipating the wrong thing?

For thousands of years, the Israelites anticipated their prophesied king, their Messiah. Their longing for him is evident throughout the Old Testament, and in such prophetic verses as:
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2
“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 Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“What am I anticipating this Christmas?”

Our souls long for the very same Messiah. If our focus remains on the temporal, we are sure to find Christmas unsatisfying, our true needs unmet. Only by focusing on the birth of our coming king will all of our longings be filled, our deepest desires satisfied.
All of the Israelites longings were fulfilled in one unpretentious evening, in a hillside cave used as a place to keep livestock, heralded by a multitude of heavenly hosts to humble shepherds. God’s greatest gift to all of humanity came to reunify the family of man Satan destroyed in the Garden of Eden; reunifying us to Himself. This infant king, and his ultimate sacrifice, fulfilled payment for our adoption back into the family of God.

There is “a little bit more.”

I invite you to anticipate Christmas with me.
Anticipate ancient prophecies fulfilled.
Anticipate the unfathomable love of a God willing to take our created form.
Anticipate the Christ that is Christmas.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:1-12

 

 

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