Christmas is a time for many things, but I’ll always associate it with waiting. It starts back in September, when the Fathers’ Day displays disappear and shops begin to fill with Christmas merchandise. So we say, ‘That can wait.’
December comes along. The kids, surrounded by glitzy ads ask for more and more, and we say ‘Wait! You don’t know what you’re getting for Christmas!’
Mid December comes, and you can’t wait for your final pre-Christmas pay so you can finish the shopping.
Christmas Eve comes, and you finally bring yourself to go to the supermarket to get that last bit of shopping, and end up waiting in the queue for an hour and a half.
At six o’ clock the next morning the kids decide they can’t wait any more, and are up and into the presents. You try to look enthusiastic, but you know you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get any more sleep.
You get yourself a nice new present — a razor, a new power tool (shed or kitchen), a radio… but the kids decide that their new toy needs the batteries out of it more than you do. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to use it.
In the morning you go to church to show off your new Hawaiian shirt and the tie that doesn’t match, and you’ve got to wait while the officer delivers his sermon. The kids start screaming again — they want lunch! First though, they have to wait while you go to visit Great-Auntie Jemima at the nursing home.
You get home, and lunch comes out. The kids are about to dive in, when they’re told, ‘Wait! Can we say grace properly just once this year?’
Finally finished for the day, it’s time to do the dishes. You look at the pile, and yes, they can wait.
You look at the new calendar you got. Just 365 more days until Christmas. Can’t wait!
The first Christmas heralded the end of a long wait — the Jews had been waiting for someone to rescue them from all their problems for hundreds, even thousands of years. Yet when he arrived, most missed him.
We have a lot of problems of our own, and we’d love some sort of Saviour. Yet we don’t have to wait long — he’s been around for two thousand years, waiting for us to respond. You don’t have to wait until Christmas is over to ponder the message of the baby in the trough!