The anticipation that comes from seeing the speaking bubble with the three bullets can sometimes drive you crazy. That bubble is the standard in 2012. It indicates that the person on the other end of the message is about to send you a text message.

The anticipation of what could possibly be on its way. . .waiting for a work decision, plans for Friday night, big news from a family member, what about waiting to see if your spouse will answer and bring you the glass of water you requested from the basement…guilty as charged on that one. Communication these days is always at our finger tips, we can connect 24/7 anywhere, anytime. With the simple stroke of a qwerty keyboard we can send messages across the globe and hear back in seconds.

Imagine for a moment you stared at your cell phone for 400 years and all you saw was the speaker bubble and three bullets. In a day when we receive the message so quickly could you hang in?  Forget 400 years how about 400 min. Would you hang in waiting for the message or would your mind go to a place where you begin to think, “maybe they’re mad at me”, or “what did I do to deserve the silent treatment?”

Back to the 400 years for a moment. In approximately 435 BC, God’s last Old Testament prophet shared God’s final message to His people in the book of Malachi. Throughout the Old Testament God provides great promise of the Messiah who would come to redeem the world. One of these verses is found in Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, And the government will rest on his shoulders And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Over 2000 years ago shepherds gathered at a stable surrounding a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger they remembered the words of the angel “for today in the City of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”  For 400 years Israel, God’s people waited for God to speak. . .and nothing.  Similar to the end of the intermission at a Broadway show when the curtain is raised, God spoke and fulfilled Isaiah 9:6.  A Saviour for the world was born.

Paul in the book of Titus writes “For the Grace of God (Jesus) appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age looking for the blessed hope and appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” After 400 years of silence Israel hoped God would speak again and He did in a big way.

This Christmas we hang on to the same hope Israel had. We eagerly await, not the birth, but the return of Jesus Christ, who will return to set up His Kingdom. That is the hope of Christmas. What about you? What are you hoping for this Christmas?

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