Christmas is over with for another year. I do believe that December 26th is the saddest day of the year. All the anticipation and excitement, the presents and stockings, the Christmas Eve service and Christmas carols, reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning, the Christmas lights and decorations, the snow. And suddenly, it's all done. Family and friends go home. Work resumes. Presents are put away, or used, as the case may be. The snow melts. Our decorations and tree are still up but I'm already starting to feel the itch to take them down. It just doesn't feel right to still have them up when Christmas has passed.
But the little baby who was laid in a manger 2,000 years ago lives on. That tiny baby, the Messiah, the Savior, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Because of Him, we have another anticipation that's greater and stronger than waiting for Christmas.
The people of Israel longed for the birth of their Messiah. Throughout the times of the Old Testament, prophets would speak God's words and promise that He was coming. After Malachi, there was silence for 400 years. And then an angel appeared to a young woman, telling her of the baby that she was to carry. Shepherds in the hills outside Bethlehem were the first to hear the good news. And then a star appeared, promising to show the Magi a great thing, if they would only follow it. The young child grew into a young man. He worked beside His earthly father, learning carpentry and waiting for the time that His heavenly Father had appointed for Him to start His ministry. That time came. For 3 years, He taught and loved and healed and rebuked and cried. And then He was crucified, making the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. Three days later, He rose. And 40 days after that, He ascended back into heaven. But that is not the end of the story.
The anticipation that we have is that He's going to be coming back. Someday, we will get to see Him face to face. I think that day will feel like a million Christmas morning's put together. And we will have that feeling forever.