The Longest Day of the Year
Astronomers tell us that June 21 is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. But Christmas Eve can feel like the longest day of the year.
Just ask a six-year-old who has been staring at a mountain of presents for the last two weeks.
Scientists have based their findings on all kinds of data that I can’t even remotely understand, but I’m not talking about just traditional hours or minutes.
I’m talking about physical, mental, and emotional time.
Add up those three and you’ll equal December 24.
I don’t think this is a recent phenomenon related just to modern day folks with first-world problems.
Imagine Mary, the mother of Jesus.
She had been journeying from Nazareth to Bethlehem, quite possibly on foot.
We don’t know exactly how long of a journey it was because we don’t know their route, but Google Maps tells me it can be around 100 miles.
Even if they traveled as the crow flies, it took that poor pregnant woman a lot longer than she probably wanted.
Imagine those last few miles.
She felt every rock, every bump, every step of the journey.
Imagine finding no room at the inn.
We freak out when we can’t find a turkey at the last minute at Walmart.
Here Mary was, heavy with child and being told the only available place to sleep was a stable.
Imagine Christmas Eve.
The pain of Jesus pushing once again up into her rib cage.
Her feet and back still swollen and aching from the journey.
Her readiness to give birth was growing by the hour and yet, she had to wait.
One more day.
Waiting was a part of that first Christmas, and it’s part of our Christmas tradition, too.
And just like on that first Christmas, amazing things come to those who wait.
Mary’s wait ended with the birth of her firstborn Son.
Israel’s wait of thousands of years ended with the arrival of the Messiah.
That first Christmas Day was well worth the wait.
And so is every season of our lives, when God has called us to wait.
I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. – C.S. Lewis