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God’s Determination—Our Expectation

The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this. -Isaiah 9:7 (GNT)
The people were on the tiptoe of expectation. -Luke 3:15 (NEB)

“God’s Determination—Our Expectation”

What do you expect as Christmas approaches?  Let me tell you what many people expect—stress, busyness, debt, dread.

One woman “wondered aloud whether it was worth celebrating anything anymore at that time of the year.  The way she put it was that along about Halloween she feels she’s stuck behind the wheel of a car she can’t control.  By Thanksgiving she’s going 40 miles-an-hour, by mid-December she’s racing along and 80 and on Christmas Day she always runs into the same brick wall.  “No matter what I do,” she says, “I wake up at the end of the holiday season feeling like I’ve been in a collision.  Our family is an emotional, physical, and financial wreck!” (Fred Rogers)

“The cruelest and loudest message of the season, shouted from millions of television sets, newspapers and magazines, seems to be: “To spend more is to love more…and to be more dearly loved.” (Rogers)

“The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants.” (John Haynes Holmes)

So the experience of many is “overworrying, overworking and overspending.”  One week during Advent I had a businessman express to me, what has become a common sentiment, “I’ll be glad when it’s over.”  My guess is that some of you have the same feeling whether you express it or not.  And you probably feel guilty because you know it shouldn’t be that way.  Can I confess to you that pastors are not immune to all this.  Or at least the one I know best.

One of the dangers of all this is that we lose our sense of expectancy, anticipation.  That is why a season of Advent is so important. It reminds us that the good news, the gospel calls us to anticipate, to expect.

Those people were in bad straits. But they had a promise. Some of you are struggling. But you have a promise. As Michael Card put it in this song The Promise “What more could God have given?” Because the “name of the promise was Jesus.”

Someone has said, “All we could ever imagine could ever hope for, He is….He is the Prince of Peace whose first coming has already transformed society but whose second coming will forever establish justice and righteousness.  All this and infinitely more, alive in an impoverished baby in a barn.” (source unknown)

What a powerful insistence that God is determined to do this.  We are to live in expectancy. The light of Jesus shines. The power of evil will be overcome and we will be part of God’s kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness.  Hallelujah!

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