Fuller Colorado alum Isam Itson compares the anticipation of a surprise Christmas gift to the anticipation we feel as we await Christ’s return.
Christmas reminds me how much people mean in our lives. Just last week my 11-year-old son suggested that we get his mom, my lovely wife, a necklace for Christmas. He had obviously given this a lot of thought. His passion was barely contained by the seriousness of his resolve.
Since then we have been planning our move—the perfect time when my wife will be none the wiser, and then we will strike! Excited as we are, we are keeping our plan to ourselves. We will have to consider her taste and lifestyle, as well as our delight in her beauty. Wrapped and hidden away until Christmas morning, this gift will represent the love that my son and I share for his mother. We can barely contain ourselves. But we know that if we are not careful, we will ruin the moment. So we keep it together, because we love her.
God the Father knew that the fullness of time had arrived for the coming of his One and Only Son into the world. From before the foundation of the world, he had been preparing for Christ’s advent. As he unveiled his plan to his people, a little here, a little there, their anticipation grew. By the time of Christ’s birth, those who loved God could barely contain themselves. The prophets Anna and Simeon were overjoyed by the fulfillment of God’s promise in their lifetime.
Like Anna and Simeon awaited redemption, we await glorification. Sometimes we get anxious because of the current state of affairs in the world. In our anxiety we can grow discouraged. Advent reminds us that God is certain to fulfill his promise. Exactly what we need for our good and God’s glory. So like the saints of old, we simply need to remain faithful in our Father’s house and our Father’s business. In the fullness of time he will fill the earth with justice, love, and righteousness for all people. Because God so loves the people of the world, and we share in his love for all people, we are filled with joy in relationship to God and each other, until the day of Christ’s certain return.