Advent 24: Great Expectations

7  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then,who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:7-11 (ESV)

Ahhhh… to be eight years old again.

I look forward to Christmas Eve night.  This is the night Mom and I get to play Santa. (Hey, if any of you still believe in the jolly old elf, my apologies for just outing him.)  We set up the gifts, eat the cookies, drink the milk, and take a bit out of the carrots – always careful to leave a remnant as evidence that Santa and a reindeer (probably Blitzen) have been here.  We write “thank you” on the note our son left with the snack, reminding him to stay on the nice list until next year.

But the best part is watching my son.  His excitement reaches fever pitch about bedtime on Christmas Eve.  His sense of expectancy is such that going to sleep takes a while.

It seems most fitting that, on the night before Christ’s birth, that we should all be filled with great expectations and eagerness.  Not for the presents under the tree, but for the arrival of God Himself.  We should be buoyed up by knowing He is coming back and, until then, He resides inside of each of us.  We should continue to seek God, vigorously and joyfully, with great and hopeful expectation.

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalms 5:3, KJV).  If we believe in God, truly trusting Him with our lives and taking Him at His Word, then we have to expect that He will do whatever He says He will do.

But, more than that, we should not just expect God to shower gifts on us.  He is our Heavenly Father, not our spiritual sugar daddy.  Rather, our expectation in seeking God should be God.  Period.  Without limitations or denominational boxes.  Just as He reveals Himself in His Word.  Looking up, knowing He is there.  Knowing Jesus is returning.

1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12  But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. – Matthew 25:1-13 (ESV)

Expectation is indeed a mark of great faith.  Be ready always.  Keep looking up.  And expect God.

Always.

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