Anticipation….Ketchup?

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​As I sit here Thanksgiving has come and gone. Today is Black Friday. They have named Thanksgiving Brown Thursday. Have we gotten to the place where shopping is more important than spending the day with family and friends giving thanks for all those things we have? Someone on Facebook said they had to wait till 7 pm to have their Thanksgiving Dinner because their loved one was at a store getting ready for the crowds and their break wasn’t until 7. The family member would have to eat and then rush back. 
People today are rushing about trying that to find that perfect gift or as one man said, “I just want a new TV and I want a good deal on one.” He wasn’t even shopping for someone else; he was shopping for himself. Many folks are rushing around today, not knowing Sunday is Advent Sunday. I am sure many don’t care that Sunday is Advent or maybe they don’t know even what it is.
Many of us realize Advent is the four week period leading up to Christmas beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. The word Advent means the arrival of something important or awaited. 
In terms of Christianity we are waiting for the perfect gift. That perfect gift is the gift of God’s Son. God could have given us peace, but what would we do with peace? How long would we accept the gift of peace? Instead He gave us His Son. 
People will be shopping for the perfect gift to give someone. They may find what they think the perfect gift is, bring it home, wrap it up and then wait for Christmas to come. Some will find it hard to wait. They are excited about seeing the look on the face of that person when they open the perfect gift. They are anticipating the joy it will bring someone one. I recently was reminded of the ketchup commercial that came out in 1979 about anticipation. Two little boys are pouring ketchup while someone is singing in the background about anticipation. It’s hard to wait is the theme of the song. It’s hard to wait isn’t it for Christmas and the opening of gifts?
The gifts we give may bring instant gratification. It may be just what we’ve always wanted. Remember our kids? They want a certain toy so bad and they get it, but how long do they play with it before it is no longer a big thing? Or something else bigger and better comes along and then we long for that.
What a lot of people don’t realize is the perfect gift comes in a small package and is full of love for us. It is in the form of a baby come down from Heaven to give us everything we need or could hope for. This baby brought with Him the love from His Father, He brought peace, He brought with Him a way for us to live forever in place where there are no tears, worries, or fears. This gift doesn’t require us to go shopping on Brown Thursday, or Black Friday or Cyber Monday. All we have to do is bow our heads and accept the free gift God has given us. When we bow in prayer and accept this gift it is instant gratification, but this instant gratification lasts for a lifetime. This gift can provide for us our needs, it can give us love, and it can lift us up when we are down. Toys get broken, clothes wear out, jewelry can lose its shine, electronics can become outdated, but this gift is a gift that keeps giving. 
I have received this gift, but the best part is not receiving this gift but sharing it with others. How many times do our children get a gift and don’t want to share with others? That’s not the way it is with this gift. When you receive your gift from God you want to share it with others, because you know the happiness it has brought into your life and you want others to experience it too. 
If those who are shopping on Brown Thursday, or Black Friday or Cyber Monday only knew the one true gift that doesn’t cost them anything and one that can bring a life time of happiness.  
Advent, the arrival of something important or awaited; anticipation is defined as hope or expectancy. In my first Advent Study of the year the question was asked, “What are you anticipating in the birth of this child?” I didn’t have an answer, but as I think about it I may be anticipating the times when I can share this gift God has given to me with others. I may just offer someone a gift all wrapped up in the form of a baby and I may just sit back and watch them as they eagerly open the gift and see what this entire gift can do for them. I will eagerly watch their face and see the love and peace that comes over them. I will watch as fear and worry are replaced with a new found hope. The perfect gift can’t be bought, but it can be given away with anticipation and during the time of Advent. 
What are you anticipating this Christmas Season? What gift will you offer those who are hurting, worrying or don’t know what love’s all about? I hope like me you have accepted the perfect gift. I hope you are willing to share your perfect gift with others.  Please read Luke 2:1-20 God has given us the gift in the form of a baby, what are you going to do with the gift He is offering you?
Dear God: Thank you for showering me with the perfect gift. I want others to receive the perfect gift as well, may I always be willing at all times to share my gift with others. During Advent help me to be watchful for those times I can share the gift You have given me with others. Thank you for sharing Your Son with us. Amen
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