Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset I love the Christmas season.  And I love all the sights, sounds, and smells that come with it.  I love the Christmas music that is constantly on repeat.  I love the decorations.  I love the way the mall feels when it is decked out in the Christmas spirit.  And because of all of these things, as soon as the decorations and the music start to come out, a spirit of anticipation begins to start within me.

Because Christmas is coming.

The Christmas cookies left out for Santa.  The looks on my family’s faces as they see the presents lined up under the Christmas tree.  Christmas is coming and all the preparations that come with Christmas create a sense of waiting.  We are waiting for Christmas.

For many of us, myself included, waiting for Christmas is about the anticipation of friends, family, presents, and music.

Our anticipation can be summed with words like:

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling

Ring ting tingling too

Come on, it's lovely weather

For a sleigh ride together with you

Outside the snow is falling

And friends are calling "Yoo hoo"

Come on, it's lovely weather

For a sleigh ride together with you

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And while these things are great things to anticipate, the waiting that comes in the holiday season is much more than that. In more traditional church language, there’s a name for this season, Advent.  Advent comes from the latin word Adventus which means simply, “coming.”

Churches have historically used the weeks leading up to Christmas to prepare and anticipate the coming of Christ. There is an anticipation leading up to the Christmas celebration and specifically the gifts that we celebrate Christ bringing, but there is also an anticipation to when Christ reappears.

Christmas is coming. Chris is coming.

We wait with anticipation the birth of a King. We wait knowing that a baby has been born and it changes everything. And we wait for when the King is coming again.

As we approach Christmas, what gifts of Jesus are you longing for?  What are the gifts that you wait for with anticipation knowing that there are some things that only Jesus can give to you?  As you anxiously wait for the fact that a baby has been born, what is the hope that you need?

We wait.  We anticipate the birth of a King.  We anticipate the coming of the King who has rescued us from sin, death, and the power of the devil.  We anticipate his return and the hope of his new creation.  We long for the peace that He brings in the midst of this broken, dark, and hurting world.

Come Thou long expected Jesus

Born to set Thy people free

From our fears and sins release us

Let us find our rest in Thee

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