The emotional, mama-heart in me started the countdown in August when we dropped her off at school. I couldn’t wait to have all my girls back together again in one house. But the practical, home-schooling mom waited until Thanksgiving before I started pumping the excitement throughout the house. After all, we did need to accomplish some school work.
Staying focused and accomplishing school is hard enough in December, but add to that the great expectation of a loved one’s arrival and you have mayhem. (Don’t let the above pictures fool you. I caught them in a rare moment of focused diligence.)
We made the trip to the airport, only to find out her plane was delayed. So our excited group, waited.
And waited some more.
Then we saw her…
O Happy Day, Happy Day…
Excitement, hope fulfilled! We waited 4 long months for this day to come. It was a beautiful moment.
This time of year, we celebrate another, much longer awaited, coming. Thousands of years had passed and still creation waited. The Promised One, Messiah. No definite date given, just a promise.
Abraham was chosen, the Law was given, David was anointed, the temple was built, destroyed, and built again, the nation of Israel was scattered, Babylon gave way to Persia, Rome ruled the world, and still man waited.
During the long wait, many spread the news of His coming. Isaiah foretold, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of His peace…”
Then the long-awaited, much anticipated moment came. The birth of Immanuel brought a regal show from heaven. Multitudes of angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, goodwill towards men.” Shepherds came to worship the Lamb of God. Wise men traveled thousands of miles to honor Him. A king felt threatened by Him. The Promised One had come, not to the palace nursery, but to a stable.
“But when the fulness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Galations 4:4-5
As we celebrate Christmas, we rejoice in God’s promise, kept and fulfilled. We spend time preparing our hearts in recognition of His advent, His coming. We focus on the Word made flesh, God dwelling among men as man.
Our Christmas preparation includes some common traditions passed down from our families. But over the years, we’ve also refined and defined what we want the Christmas celebration to look like in our home. We wanted to focus on the person of Christ, past, present, and future. So we…
Decorate the tree, enjoy the lights (inside and out), and of course, sing songs together.
And then there is the baking, lots and lots of baking. Love sharing yummy treats with friends (or just sneaking a few when no one is watching).
There are crafts (and gifts) to be made and silly hats to wear.
Hours are spent playing with our nativity and retelling the story of Immanuel’s coming.
Each day we look forward to reading another name of Christ and searching for that name in the Scriptures.
Traditions may differ, but I hope you spend time this year celebrating the coming of the Long, Awaited One and looking forward to His second long, awaited coming, the day He will return as King.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.