Friday, December 26, 2008

The Celebration Continues ... by Shannon

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

In our family, the Christmas season didn't end until the magi arrived. No decoration could be removed until Epiphany … the tree stayed up, all ornaments were left untouched, and the stockings were even returned to the hearth as if Santa never came. Just as the season of Advent was our recognized period of waiting for the Christ child to arrive, the span between Christmas Day and Epiphany was time to wait for the three kings (yep, I know now it wasn't necessarily three and that they were magi not kings, but I didn't know that then!).

I always felt like something was missing when I visited friends' houses in late December and early January and saw the Christmas decorations cleared away so quickly. It made my heart sad to see the twinkling Christmas lights go dark on the 26th. I felt like shouting, "It's not over yet! The season isn't complete! We're supposed to still be waiting!"

And yet how often do I hurry on with my life, living as if Christ didn't come or at least isn't relevant today? I am so hasty to move into the rest of the week once Sunday has passed, or to dive into the next season once Christmas or Easter is over, or to simply rush into my day after a brief morning devotion. I rarely allow myself to sit and wait in expectation before the Lord as the psalmist did. Just as I was sad for my friends to miss out on celebrating Epiphany like my family did, what is God sad that I'm missing today? What blessings would I see if I would only wait?