Alive with Anticipation, Activated with Expectation
She stepped out the red doors, and before descending the steps looked deep into the night sky. Abby was holding her grandfather with one hand and said in a low voice while pointing with her other, “I think I see Santa Claus!”
This was a number of years ago. But Abby still approaches Christmas with the same anticipation and complete expectation. There is no fiction about it for her. In her mind, you move towards Christmas knowing full well that someone is going to visit you, and I am not just talking about grandpa and grandma, though that is a part of the expectation as well.
In this season of Advent we remember the stories of Christ’s coming. We recall how God sent to us a savior. But it is not just a story of happenings gone-by. We tell the story to remember that not only has God come, but God is here. God has come to us, and “Emmanuel,” God is with us. God is with us, and we ought to look for him when we walk out those doors. He may not be streaked across the sky, but then again maybe this grand universe does speak to God’s presence. Or perhaps we will see God in the face of our children, and the joys and blessings we have been afforded, or as Jesus says, in the eyes of the poor and needy. Maybe we will find the mercy of Christ when we are part of compassionate caring, joining with someone else who is having a hard time. Maybe it will be in answered prayer, or a sense of peace which comes when we believe God has our best interests and purest longings in heart.
God is here, and God is to be found, and as the scriptures say, God is coming. The story is not over yet. This season of Advent invites us to become an active participant in the story, working for God’s kingdom and watching for it to grow and come to its fullness. The scriptures speak of a day when every tear will be wiped away, and when God’s purposes will come to fulfillment. And whether that comes in the form of the Lord streaking across the sky in a chariot or as a slow growing seed, we do not know. But in this season of Advent and Christmas I pray a sense of anticipation and expectation might reemerge in us. For this is not a flat story of events gone-by. It is about a God who is present and with us, and coming; we can discern that presence if we look for it.
May the expectation of Christ pervade your celebrations,