“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’”Luke 1:30-33
At our house on Christmas Eve, everyone gets new pajamas. We have dinner together and finish up our last minute gift wrapping, which we don’t finish until midnight. My siblings and I then go to bed, waiting for our stockings to be filled and our presents to be placed under the tree. We never last long. We are usually up by 2am ready to open everything! We jump on Mom and Dad’s bed, and wake them up. My dad sleepily gets the video camera, my mom makes coffee, and they watch us tear open everything they’ve just worked so hard to carefully place under the tree.
We couldn’t wait through the night to open our gifts. Can you imagine anticipating and expecting the coming of the Messiah? God’s people waited hundreds of years for the Messiah to arrive. Once the angel appeared to Mary, she had to wait nine long months. Mary knew she was carrying the Son of the Most High. Talk about anticipation!
It’s no wonder when Jesus was born, the great heavenly host of angels appeared to the shepherds singing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests (Luke 2:14).” All of heaven and earth longed for this moment—the moment when the Messiah had finally come to earth. And in God’s exact perfect timing, Jesus entered the world as a baby.
Even though we can’t wait until morning to open our Christmas presents, and we have to wake our parents up in the middle of the night, God is patient, working for our good in everything. His timetable is perfect. We can trust that God is faithful to fulfill His promises at the exact right moment.
This year, my husband and I are expecting our first child. This baby will be the first grandchild on both sides of our family. We are waiting expectantly for God to do amazing things in this child’s life, but most importantly, we are anticipating the day when this child places his or her trust in the Savior of the world—Jesus Christ. The Messiah has come. He is on His throne, and His Kingdom never ends. That sounds better than 2am Christmas presents to me.