As we get older we can say that we are being more "sensible" than we were when we were young by not getting excited about Christmas. Is it that we understand the short-lived excitement of the gifts, or the long work of dinner, the long clean-up and the short feasting? Maybe it is that we are not interested in traveling to be with people that don't seem to be too excited about seeing us. People sometimes say "Christmas is for kids". There are many potential reasons not to be excited about Christmas but there were old and dying people who were very excited to witness Jesus' coming to earth the first time.
How about this guy- "Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
'Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.'"
I like this guy Simeon- did you see that he knew that Jesus was coming so the Gentiles- hey that's me- could have revelation? He was waiting to die but God promised that he would get to see Jesus first- that's a good promise. What was that like? He got a personal promise from God and he was waiting expectantly for it to be fulfilled. He was excited, Mary and Joseph marveled at his words- just look at those words. That has to be an amazing day.
And then there was an old lady named Anna. She was widowed 7 years after getting married and instead of getting married again she stayed i the temple praying and fasting ever since- now she is 84. Do you suppose she was excited to hear of Jesus' birth? Prophecies fulfilled in her lifetime and now the Savior was coming to the Temple where she had been for maybe 60 years. Do you think there was some excitement when she heard that Mary and Joseph were coming with Jesus?
It is interesting that the kids in those days weren't mentioned in any of these passages. Maybe they were excited, but not if their parents didn't explain to them the reason they should have been excited. Maybe the kids were excited but it takes someone who has been around the block a few times to really appreciate what was happening right then. Thousands of years of waiting had come to fruition. Thousands of years of expectation had arrived and the old people were excited.
We have a gift that never loses it's luster, never grows old and yet we often lose sight of what is important. Let's not be so "grown-up" that we lose the wonder of what Christmas is all about. Expectation! These people were old and dying and they were excited about His coming and they can teach us a lesson or two about being expectant of the 2nd coming. Don't lose your wonder at the miracle of His coming to earth to be a man, to take on flesh and to take away our sin. Don't lose sight of the fact that He is coming again and we should be excited about that. Come Emmanuel.