Do you remember how excited you were for Christmas when you were a kid? Did you shake the presents under the tree trying to guess what they were? Maybe you had an Advent calendar that counted down the days to Christmas. There was something special about this time of year when I was a child. There still is, but so many of us have lost it and are looking for it again.
I think I’ve figured out where it went. When you were a kid, you didn’t have to go into the attic to get the tree and the decorations out. You weren’t the one who had to put them all up. You didn’t have to fight for parking at the mall or stand in long lines to buy one gift. You didn’t have to stress about a budget or the food that you were going to have to prepare. In having to deal with all of this, many of us quit anticipating Christmas and started dreading it.
When Jesus was eight days old, he was taken to the temple to be dedicated to God. Luke 2:25 says, “At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel” (NLT). I can I shine Simeon each day, waiting in the temple, with the same anticipation that a child has for Christmas. He fulfilled his responsibilities daily, but he was still actively looking for and anticipating the Messiah.
If you find yourself looking for the magic of Christmas this year, go back to what it’s all about – anticipating the savior of the world. Even as we celebrate the first arrival of our savior, we need to be anticipating His return. Many of us spend a lifetime thinking, discussing and debating His first visit without anticipating His second coming. Just like Simeon, we need to keep an eye out for Jesus. We still have work to do, but there’s joy in the anticipation of a savior coming soon if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do.