“God is the answer to our deepest longings.” (1 Corinthians 6:12, Phillips). The path to Christmas is a path of incomplete longing. As far back as I can remember of Christmas Day, I recall the sadness of looking at empty wrapping paper and cardboard boxes housing toys or clothing or food or books or records. Each were longed for eagerly as Christmas Day approached.
And then, it came. And went. And even though I possessed those things most longed for, there was still a lingering discontent in my heart. They didn’t satisfy my deepest longings. And I always dreaded having to help put “Christmas” away each year, as the undecorated tree mocked my lack of full satisfaction with the things I believed I needed to be happy.
We long for many of the wrong things on our life path. Like the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes, we search through all the things the world convinces us we need to be happy and fulfilled only to find “emptiness.” “Futility.” “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” he lamented. Nothing this world offers… nothing it promises… can fill that longing.
Christmas promises big. But we need to remember… we still haven’t seen the fulfillment of all the promises made about Christmas. We still live in a broken world… scarred and wounded by sin. We have to find our way to the end of the Book of Revelation for those promises to find fulfillment. Our Christmas choirs point us toward a more heavenly, angelic and eternal chorus of praise that is happening now in Heaven… and one day we will hear it.
The Christmas decorations? Well, they pale in comparison to “twelve gates of pearl,” “a city whose streets are paved with gold,” “the heavenly Jerusalem adorned like a beautiful bride.” These things are the “not yets” of our longings. Yes they are coming… and yes we will see them with the same eyes that look upon our Christmas lights and trees and other beautiful sights associated this season.
But until then, we wait. And yes, we wait with some as-of-yet unfulfilled longings. But, oh, the day is coming! And when it comes, our deepest longings will be fulfilled… by God Himself.
Hallelujah, for the Lord God Almighty reigns. Revelation 19:6
O Lord God, You reign majestically in heavenly places as we wait for the fulfillment of every promise You have made. Some have come in great splendor… some are yet to be. Our every longing within will be fulfilled as we see You reigning. Help us to wait faithfully… patiently… for the day that will surely come. We can’t wait! In Christ, Amen.