Imagine Mary, realizing the birth of her baby was near, contemplating what to expect in the coming days. This was the much anticipated birth; Mary and Joseph were told their child would save the world and his kingdom would never end. We don’t know what Mary was anticipating, but if I put myself in her place, I would have had high expectations surrounding the birth of this King. Never would I have expected that the one who would save the world would be born after a long journey, without fanfare, in a stable, surrounded by animals. The circumstances were likely not as expected, yet ultimately, the circumstances were irrelevant once the baby Jesus was born.
As we count down these final days to Christmas, I think we will be well-served if we pause to think about our own expectations. In our quest for the perfect holiday gatherings and the perfect circumstances, we may miss out on the simple wonders of this season.
My expectations of this holiday season changed dramatically when my mom passed away in November. It’s a sobering reality to no longer have any living grandparents or parents (aside from my wonderful parents by marriage). This year begins different traditions and expectations, as the circumstances have changed. It is a part of life, and a challenge part of life, that all of us face in our own ways.
Yet, no matter what, there is always hope. Hope is the reason we celebrate this Christmas season. Merry Christmas to you and your family!