It is cold and dreary outside but this morning I woke up with a great sense of wonder, awe and excitement! The verses our pastor preached his sermon on today really added to my sense of joy. “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.” [Isaiah 65:17]. Later on we read of “Jerusalem as a joy” and the “people a delight.” My pastor went on to remind us that God started creating this new world – the world described in Isaiah - on Christmas Eve!
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." [Luke 2:8-14]
I think that’s what I’m feeling this year! I can’t wait for Christmas morning! We don’t have any little ones whose eyes light up when they see the pile of gifts under the tree. But we have a gift even greater than the joy of little children emptying out their stockings.
In the sermon we were reminded that “God has laid on our hearts to create the world Isaiah describes.” Each of us, doing what we can to bring about God’s kingdom on earth is how we join in the celebration! We wait to relive the moment the heavens opened and the angels sang. On Christmas Eve I know we’ll be singing “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will” at the worship service. And the anticipation will be almost more than we can bear!
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? [Romans 8:22-24]