As I reflected on the theme for this week, it reminded me
vividly of an article I wrote for a 2008 Advent Devotional put out by my church
at the time, St. Mark’s United Methodist of Daleville, Virginia. I felt it was
fitting to post here at the Daily Fast Fuel. Enjoy!
Of the many Christmas memories I have, there is one from my
youth that most certainly has a special place in my heart. In 1989, my family
went through a bit of a shake-up. My dad had been transferred to work in
Cartagena, Colombia in South America. For a time, it was deemed too dangerous
for Mom and the rest of us to live with him there. As a result, my mom and
siblings and I returned to our home in Houston, TX to live for a year.
That December, we found ourselves in the midst of the
holiday season, missing our dad and preparing for our first Christmas without
him. Mom had decided that this year we kids and she would celebrate Christmas
together just a little early so that on the actual day of Christmas we could
travel to visit family. She told us that Santa would be visiting us the morning
of the 23rd of December.
The house rule for us was that no one went downstairs on
Christmas morning until 7:00am. The house rules sadly did not change just
because we were celebrating on the 23rd. So at about 4:00am, as
usual, my sister and I began the “are you awake?” conversation. Very shortly
thereafter, we heard the anticipated knock on our door.
Our brothers were right on time.
A deck of cards were brought out and we played through the
agonizing three remaining hours until we could go downstairs and let the
Christmas present extravaganza begin! I remember watching that clock minute
after minute, the time slowly inching by. We so looked forward to what awaited
us downstairs…it seemed like 7:00 would never come!
Finally, the last hand of Contract Rummy had been played.
The hour had arrived. I remember bursting out of our room and into the
stairwell, only to discover that what was waiting in the living room…
…no longer held our attention.
You see, each one of us had immediately caught a glimpse of
something out of our front window that we had never seen before…certainly not
in Houston, Texas.
A white Christmas.
And the fun part was…it was only OUR white Christmas.
Remember? It was December 23rd!
I remember running down the stairs with my brothers and
sister…right past the living room…and out the front door!
What we thought we were waiting for did not come close to
the glorious surprise we found outside.
I will never forget that morning. It was as if God knew how
d already had it that year. He had prepared a special gift for our
As I remember that Advent of 1989, it makes me think of the
waiting game we are all still playing as we look forward to Christ’s return. I
am sure that we all have our own expectations of what awaits us when that time
arrives. But, I believe that whatever we can imagine won’t even hold a candle
to the brilliance of that moment.
I have a hunch that when the hour comes, it will be a
GLORIOUS surprise…and we’ll all run right out the front door to see it.
May it be so.
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