Waiting is the Hardest Part

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah"

Jeremiah 31:31

Ask any kid and they'll tell ya, the hardest thing about Christmas is the waiting. First you wait all year long for the season to come, and then, even when the season arrives, you have to wait until Christmas day to open your presents!

There has always been an element to Christmas that's been about waiting. Ever since evil entered the world, ever since human beings became separated from God; humanity, the world, creation itself, has been waiting. Waiting for God to fix it. Waiting to be fixed.

Christmas is not just a holiday we decorate in red and sprinkle some religion into, it's the story of the salvation of the world, the reconciliation of humanity with God. It's God's plan coming into fruition, beginning to take shape. That's what we celebrate, that's part of why we worship. God's plan has begun! Christ has come! God's plan is unfolding.

And yet He's not done.

And so we wait. Theologically we wait for Christ to return. That moment signals the heralding of the final stages of God's plan to fix everything; that moment when everything that is broken will be put right, fixed. Christmas is about looking back at a what God has done and begun, and looking forward to that beautiful moment when it will all be fulfilled.

In the meantime we wait. We wait for the brokenness of the world that breaks our hearts to be fixed. We wait for the darkness that is death, that great curse that casts a shadow on our best days, and haunts us unceasingly, to be vanquished. We wait for those things on the news that make us wonder, "Is anybody going to do anything about that?" to no longer show up. We wait for the things inside us that we wish were different to be made different.

We wait. But not as people who don't know. Not as people who are unsure. But as people who have seen God at work. People who know what the coming birth of a particular baby 2000 years ago means to us today, and what it will mean for our tomorrow. Jesus came. God is at work. His plan is unfolding. It's Christmas time!