The Visitation #1: Jesus is the Dayspring
Welcome to the beginning of a new week long series of devotionals based on the Christmas story in Luke Chapter One… enjoy!
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus came into the world as the Dayspring to visit us and bring us hope.
The Long Wait:
I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Maybe it’s not as big a deal to you as it was when you were a child. I have four children ages 11-17, and they love counting down the days until Christmas. Whether it’s opening the windows of their advent calendar and eating a piece of chocolate a day, or simply writing on the chalk-board in the kitchen, “__ days until Christmas,” the countdown is on!
When you were a child, would you go searching through the house to try to find your Christmas presents before they were wrapped and put under the tree? Did you ever find them? And did you ever take them out and actually play with them? My wife Liza always comes up with creative places to hide our children’s Christmas presents. I remember one day when we discovered one of our children’s presents in the bottom of the closet that had been opened, played with, and… broken. When we asked him about this, he didn’t know anything about how that could have happened. After a few minutes of grilling by mom and dad, he finally confessed to the crime, and admitted that he had given into the temptation and played with the toy.
This reminds me of the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment which was done in 1972 (the year I was born). This psychological experiment was designed to test a child’s ability to delay gratification. They brought some four-year-old children into a room one at a time where they had set a marshmallow on the table. The interviewer told the child that he was going to leave the room for twenty minutes, and if they could leave the marshmallow there until he returned, then he would give them two marshmallows. It was an interesting study where they had hidden cameras videotaping the children. Some of the children would eat the marshmallow as soon as the interviewer left the room. Other children would tap their fingers or sit on their hands or put their heads on the table to try to keep from thinking about the marshmallow. Whether we are children or adults, most of us have a hard time waiting, don’t we?
I love the Christmas season because it is the time of the year we turn our hearts towards Bethlehem, to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Saviour. When you are a child, it always seems like the last few days before Christmas are the longest days of the year. But no matter how slow the days seemed to drag on, and no matter how many agonizing days it took, Christmas morning always came. The Promise of Christmas morning always arrived.
The dynamic of waiting for Christmas is what set up the first Christmas over two thousand years ago. If you’re familiar with the Old Testament, you know that God had promised that He was going to send the Messiah to save and deliver His people. For hundreds and thousands of years, generation after generation, the Jewish people waited, and waited, and waited. Not for Santa Claus, but for Jesus.
Pastor Chris Jordan
View The Marshmallow Test Here: