The Christmas season is jam packed with expectations. Children draw up lists of what they hope to find on Christmas morning. Parents camp out and hunt for the perfect gift. Families go on a quest to uphold traditions and make new memories. I love this time of year, but let’s be honest— getting ready for Christmas can be a big undertaking with all the decorating, the shopping, the Christmas programs, the office parties, the cooking, and the traveling. Life gets crazy in a hurry. For some of you— your expectations at Christmas are very low. Life is tough to bear right now, money’s tight, relationships are tense and you’re not looking forward to Christmas at all. Maybe you haven’t experienced the peace and goodwill of the Christmas season for some time. So your expectation are low. May I encourage you to re-center your Christmas expectations?
Christmas has always carried divine expectations. Ages before that night in Bethlehem, before the shepherds bowed to heavenly hosts and followed the star to a manger, Isaiah the prophet wrote expectantly—
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The promise of a coming Messiah filled the pages of the Hebrew Bible, and the Jews were watching for His coming. Through a divided kingdom, through exile and occupation of their homeland they waited with great expectations. By the time the New Testament opens with the arrival of Jesus, they had spent centuries praying…hoping…waiting…for God to fulfill His promise. Jesus’ arrival fulfilled all their great exception — and He fulfills our as well. The guidance, strength, gifts, and peace we seek are found in Jesus. And when we re-center our expectation there — we will never be disappointed.
Because of Jesus, Pastor Karl
P.S. Christmas season is wonderful time to share this peace and goodwill with our invite family and friends. We have engaging worship services each Sunday, a meaningful service opportunity at a local food pantry, a fun Christmas musical, and beautiful Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Invite them to join you and help them take their next step with Jesus!
Dec. 5: Gateway Give @ Circle of Concern in Valley Park / Drop off from 9:00am-12:00pm
Dec. 10-11: Dickens Musical: Scrooge with a Twist @ Gateway / 7:00pm
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service @ Gateway / 5:00pm & 6:30pm
Dec. 25: Celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ!