By Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministry
I can still hear my sister’s voice in the dark bedroom we shared in our house on 107th Street. “I can’t wait for Christmas! Can you?” Every year, every child’s heart echoes the same longing. An inner yearning draws us toward the Big Day. We “can’t wait,” but somehow we must. Time stands in our way.
What we wanted were presents, but our excitement spoke of something more. Not Santa—I’ve never believed in him—but it was a Person we longed for. Someone special—one-of-a-kind and long expected.
Presents under the tree are a very imperfect way of training hearts to long for Jesus. But there’s another way to look at Christmas expectation. Children aren’t the only ones who long for Christmas to come. God the Father was longing too.
In the beginning, God created a perfect world, and then he created us, out of love. God’s first words to Adam and Eve, our greatest great ancestors, spoke of a gift. He gave us the world. Gift giving is more than a Christmas tradition. It’s how God’s world works.
God’s love is freely given, and he made us in his image, so we could freely receive it. But when we did, we cast the Giver away, thinking we’d be more free. The story of the forbidden fruit is no myth, like Santa Claus. It recounts the moment sin began—when humanity cast God aside.
From that moment, God has pursued a plan to get us back. More than a helpless longing for some desired day, God’s love is a purposeful pursuit. Without violating our free and independent will, the Father determined to bring us back to himself. In some unimaginable way, while we’ve been waiting on God, God has been waiting on us—intent on making us his own.
After the fall, God reached out to Cain, who clung to his murderous way. Seth’s descendants “called on the name of the LORD” but ultimately forsook him. Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD, but his children rejected the Father’s love.
But God refused to let rejection have the final word. He chose one man—Abraham—and bound himself to him and his descendants. To protect them from the world’s evil, he outlined his holy standards. Obedience would bring God’s blessing and disobedience his curse. In this way, God reached out through his people to show the world his love and how he blesses those who love him.
God kept Israel separate from the rest of the world. They were his people—a holy people—not to be stained by sin. Their isolation protected their purity, but it shut out the world. And God loves the world. The entire Old Testament tells the story of God’s love reaching to a lost world through his chosen people.
Finally, the long-awaited day came when God could enter the world to save the lost. Born as One of his own people, his own people did not receive him (John 1:11). But God the Father made his Son’s death a sacrifice for sin so that to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
At long last, God could embrace the whole world, create his church, and call us his own. To the praise of his glory.
Northpoint Prayer Ministry
– Each week, Dave updates a monthly Bible reading plan and writes a Bible and prayer focus, Prayer Life. The preceding is a recent installment. You can pick up both offerings at the Information Center in the Foyer on Sundays, or sign up there to receive them via email. You can also click here to find the archive: https://northpointcorona.org/ministries/prayer/