I have childhood memories of waiting with my parents and siblings to hear the sound of sleigh bells on the roof. Each generation passed on to the next the excitement of “waiting.”
I remember trying to stir excitement in my younger sisters. Clothed in red flannel pajamas and gowns, we sat cross-legged on a bed straining to hear the jingle of Santa’s arrival.
“Did you hear that?” I’d ask, while not hearing a single thing. Eyes widened; the room got quiet. Anticipation. Hearts thumped. “Let’s get to bed, so he’ll come,” I’d say.
We couldn’t stand still. Minutes seemed like days—seconds, like hours. Even as I got older, I enjoyed the thrill of unopened expectations. Christmas was a big day–family, food, laughter, and the wild unwrapping of gifts. But to the child-hearted believer, someone had come, and he brought gifts, and that was even more exciting.
Before daylight had a chance, we’d pounce on Mom and Dad.
“Get up! Get up! It’s here. Santa’s come!” We’d giggle with excitement as we ran through the house to the starting line—the edge of the hall. We’d try to steal a peek into the room that held un-told wonder, but usually someone, most often, my uncle, kept guard to the entrance of wonderland.
Everyone had to wake up before we’d get to go into the living room. There, Dad waited to film the expressions of awe. We bounced and wriggled with excitement. Waiting to unwrap the gifts was almost as much fun as opening them. Even now, I don’t remember many of the presents, but I remember waiting.
There was a sense of brightness, joy, and dazzle.
This is Advent. In it we wait, as Israel did long ago, for Messiah to come. We wait for him to enter our lives by stealth and leave hope, grace, and mercy behind. We also wait for Jesus to come again. And when he does, there will be family, food, laughter, gifts, and lots and lots of dazzle!