When I meditate on Christmas, I think about our Jesus—about the miracle of our Savior. About being free from my sins and being able to rest in his grace all because he came here to save us. But I don’t often think about the fact that people longed and waited for him to come.
Patience isn’t something that comes naturally for most people, especially when there’s no ETA. And waiting for Jesus had to require more patience than anything else we’ve ever waited for.
They knew he had been promised. They believed he would come. But they didn’t know when. I can’t even imagine how amazing it felt for those shepherds, who were just going about their day, to hear those glorious words:
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
The Lord was here. Our Jesus had come. They would be set free. The Savior born was declared to be the divine Messiah, and an angel had been sent to tell them personally.
After all that waiting, he had finally arrived.
The hymn Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus puts this into perspective:
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
He was the desire of every nation, the longing of every heart. Jesus, the best king they could ever hope for—their strength, hope, and joy. People didn’t care about gifts, or great food, or even good company. Their long-awaited Savior had suddenly come, and that’s all that mattered.
This Christmas, let’s remember what a miracle Jesus was. Let’s not take his birth for granted. Let us drop everything and bask in the glory of our long-awaited Savior, who was born on earth, would die to save us, and who will never leave us.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Hallelujah, our Savior is here! Let us rejoice.