Christmas is a time of expectations. We expectantly wait for the day when presents appear under the tree. We expectantly wait for friends and relatives to arrive in time for celebrations. Some of us expectantly wait for special Christmas services. Some expectantly wait for the joy of reading the Christmas story with our families. But, often Christmas carries with it other expectations. We may wonder, “will my husband get me what I really want for Christmas, or will it be the same thing he always gets?” Or, “will we have a peaceful Christmas this year, or will we have the same old fight over the Christmas turkey?”
So many times we live expectantly for things that can never bring us joy or peace. We live expecting those around us to make us happy, or to find the perfect present for us that we can finally believe that they really know and understand us, or that this year Christmas will be all joy and no pain. The problem is, though, that so many of our expectations lie in the things of this world, in money, or people, or the “holiday spirit” and not in the person of Jesus Christ. For you see, the world, our friends, and even our families can fail to fulfill those expectations that we carry in our hearts (and rarely let cross our lips), but Jesus can fulfill every expectation that we have of Him. Jesus is everything.
Though it often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, Christmas really is about Jesus. It’s about His miraculous birth, yes, but it’s also about His sacrificial life. How many of us, when we go to a friends birthday party, tell them that we are excited that they were born? It would be sort of a funny thing, wouldn’t it? Imagine going up to your friend, who perhaps you only have known for 5 years, and saying, “I’m just celebrating the day you were born! What a day that was!” Honestly, few of us were around for the days that our friends were born. When we celebrate their birthdays, however, we are celebrating who they are, what they mean to us, and the lives they live.
Christmas, therefore, isn’t just a time to celebrate the day and the manner in which Jesus was born. Instead, it’s about celebrating who Jesus is. Jesus is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:15-20). Wow, how can you not celebrate that? It may be easier to put a light-up manger scene in our window or on our mantle, but how about celebrating Jesus as your Saviour, your King, your Deliverer, and your Creator! Place your expectations in the God who will never fail and the love that will never end!
So, where does who Jesus is come into those expectations that we were talking about earlier? Well, how about this year, instead of placing all our hope and possible joy in the expectations of this world, you place our hope and expected joy in the presence of Jesus in your life. It’s all about where we put the focus. Instead of focusing on presents and decorations, place the focus on Jesus and on giving Him and His salvation out to those around you. Focus on Hebrews 13:5 which says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” As you walk through this Christmas season, focus your heart on the fact that regardless of your situation in life, you have it all if you know Jesus as Saviour. For He said to us, that we can be content in all situations, because Jesus is with us, and Jesus will never leave us. “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6). If a disappointment comes your way this Christmas season, reach out and hold onto Jesus. No matter what this world throws at us, Jesus is there and even when it seems like everything is going wrong, Jesus gives us more grace (James 4:6) to get through it.
Friends, I hope your Christmas season is filled with Jesus. Hold onto Him and give Him out to whomever you see. Tell your neighbors that Jesus loves them. Give to the needy knowing that, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). Friends, not matter what we have, when we have Jesus in our lives, we have all that people need. Live with open eyes and an open heart expecting to see Jesus this Christmas season. I’m sure you will not be disappointed. Merry Christmas.