Which one is it? Anxiously I inspected each present that had a gift tag bearing my name, considering the size and weight, shaking and listening for clues. It can’t be any of these. My heart sank. My parents were masters at the art of surprise, especially at Christmas. I had carefully investigated every gaily-wrapped box, and after opening my packages I feigned happiness. What I had dreamed about wasn’t under the tree.
“Mary,” Mother said with a rye smile and winking at Dad. “We forgot one gift. Wait right here.”
Could it be? Would it be possible that my subtle hints, which were more akin to billboards on the fridge, were noticed? Yes! My half-hearted enthusiasm was immediately replaced by true elation. I struggled to hold back tears. “It’s perfect. It’s beautiful… Just what I wanted!” I leaped into their arms. I can still feel the pure delight of that embrace.
A baritone ukulele—an unusual instrument, tuned and played like a four string guitar—was the heart’s desire of a fourteen year old girl who adored making music. A perfect size and fairly easy to play, this gift would become a treasure and launch a lifetime passion for music and melody. I enjoyed the independence as an artist in being able to accompany myself. My family graciously honored my efforts and encouraged me to sing, which I did! I would invest in my first guitar and begin entertaining in local coffeehouses through high school and college.
Expectations are the driving force that determine the degree to which we experience satisfaction. Low expectations are satisfied by the mediocre. Grand expectations can only be sated by excellence.
The season of Christmas is filled with hope, promise and expectancy. We read the Christmas story in Luke 1:26-56. An angel of God explains to Mary, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High” (ESV). A virgin, still a child herself, is told she will give birth to the Son of God—the promised Messiah! (Isaiah 7:14)
Mary’s reaction is not one of panic, nor does she begin to race about frantically, ensuring that her home is trimmed with gold and fine linen—a palace fit for a king. Mary begins her time of waiting in prayer, in thanksgiving, meditating on God’s Word: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 1:19 NKJV). Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit, who revealed the truth about the miracle growing inside her—her child would be born to save all people from their sins.
“Let it be to me according to Your Word” (Luke 1:38 NKJV). Mary continues her journey resigned to be a servant of God’s perfect will. This tender young woman carries Messiah in her body and greets each new morning with hope, faith and great expectation. She knows that what is about to take place is impossible, yet it is happening! A gift beyond all imagining is being brought to earth. She will unwrap love and cherish this babe, our Lord. In time the entire world will hear the music and join the melody of God’s sweet grace.
Christmas traditions, decorating, and warm cookies are important and special, but we must not lose sight of the Miracle born into the world and into our lives! I pray that our hearts are brought to life and our spirits quickened from slumber. Prepare the way … may we long with great expectation for the coming of the Christ. In Jesus name, Amen!
Photo Creit: Ukulele picture from Wikimedia.org, by “Wemba” [Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.]Copyright © by Waters of LifeTM Ministry for Women, Inc. 2009 | 0 comments