When my older brother hit his preteen years, I became the last and only child to retain the bursting excitement over Christmas morning. So for a few years, I alone kept the anticipation of Christmas alive. I woke before dawn rushing to his bedroom door. I knocked rapidly with excitement, “Bubby, it’s Christmas. It’s Christmas, Bubby, it’s Christmas!” My thrilling proclamation was met with groans yearning for more sleep. I didn’t care. It didn’t faze me, and I continued to rap impatiently on his door until he emerged.
In the Gospel of Matthew, people bring children to Jesus, but his disciples rebuke them. Jesus replies, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). I often wonder what Jesus implies when he remarks the kingdom belongs to the child-like. Most say Jesus is referring to a child-like faith and ultimate trust. Others believe Jesus is proclaiming his acceptance of the lowliest. While I think both are accurate, maybe, just maybe, Jesus is also referring to the unwavering excitement of a child’s heart.
My excitement as a child on Christmas morning was nothing holy. In fact, one could easily call child Ellie selfish. Let’s be real; she was excited about the presents. However, maybe we should take a lesson from the bursting excitement that cannot be squelched even when met with groans from others. As we rest our heads on Christmas Eve tonight, may we find it hard to sleep. Tomorrow our savior is born bringing all the love into the world that we shall ever need. May we wait with anticipation over his next coming saying, “Come, Lord Jesus.” He is coming soon. Wait with love and excitement in your heart tonight and always.