so its Christmas eve. the house has finally quieted down. the visitors have gone home, the kids are in bed. my wife is on the couch playing with her new camera. I am enjoying the first few minutes of peace and silence I have experienced in several days. All is well in the world.
but there is a lingering longing in my soul. What is it? I haven’t done any real work in several days. I have been serving as hospitality director for my dad and sister. Well, to be honest i am really only the driver – Lyra is the director. She does so much better at finding fun things in town to do.
we took Tammy and dad to the science center, we ate out one night. We thought we would try a new place downtown. we won’t be going there again. it was ok, but frankly for the prices i felt like it could have been quite a bit better. the lobster was inedible and the atmosphere, well let’s just say 80′s art deco went out a few years back.
we hung out and visited for a bit. they brought presents for the boys, the volume levels and testosterone went up to a fever pitch as it can around here sometimes. but to the point – i didn’t get any real work done. yes i worked in my head as i often do at off moments. I mentally composed a couple blog posts that need to be typed out, I considered how to best promote an important launch in my industry happening soon (more on that soon at thebloggersdesktop), but i never really got anything done.
is this a longing to work since i have been off for a few days?
I don’t think so.
tonight after all the presents were stacked in the corner waiting for a cabinet or a drawer to live in for the next few months, we talked with the boys about what Christmas really is about.
I reminded them of the story of our faith. We turned off all the lights when i told them that Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit. I had a flashlight which i turned on when i told them how God had provided for them in their need and offered hope for the future. The lights got brighter as Abraham and then David were offered promises of a coming king and redeemer.
Of course there were problems even after these promises. The people were living under the rule of a foreign empire. They had been stripped of their national sovereignty, they had to wonder if all that God had promised them really meant anything at all.
Then, late one night, in a field outside the town of Bethlehem, some angels came to deliver another promise. A king had been born. A king who would bring peace. the lights brighter all of a sudden.
What could these poor shepherds have thought when they heard this news? what must it have been like to live in a generation when everything you had ever been taught was that you were a special people, destined for greatness, chosen by the creator of the earth to bring restoration, but somehow you are eeking out an existence under a foreign government, unable to do what you know you are called to. then all of a sudden, news of a king. No more would Cesar be Lord, they were told. Now instead, Christ was Lord. Who was this baby?
The baby would grow up to become a man who brought good into what was bad, he restored what was broken from the curse and he promised that he would finish the job one day.
I think the longing in my soul tonight is the hope that he would just finish the job. He isn’t done yet. There is still brokenness, though it is getting better. there is still fighting and death and disease and loneliness and heartache. But we have a greater hope even than our sheep herding ancestors on that ancient hill outside that village on the first Christmas night. We don’t wait for a baby to be born, we are waiting for the return of a king!
When I told the boys that this king would come back soon, we turned on the brightest ceiling lights. I wanted them to see that even though Jesus has come, and even though it is brighter that it used to be, it will be so much brighter still.
Even the corners of this world where darkness still reigns, light will shine and all pain will end. He will wipe away every tear. Not just the small tears we cry over a broken toy, but the big tears we cry over genocide and famine. All this evil will end and our king will make things the way they are supposed to be.
I think the longing i feel this Christmas is a longing that he will come and establish his reign forever.