Wrong Expectations

I listen to the local talk radio station every morning while driving my kids to school—that is, I try to listen while the kids are machine-gunning a cacophony of chatter my way. Actually, it is my hometown’s local station, which I am close enough to receive. One of the news blurbs the other morning was shocking enough to make me talk back to my radio. The piece opened with how depression increases during the holidays. The CEO of the local Mental Health Association accredited a large factor to the high expectations we hold for the holiday season. Many are let down and disappointed when their high expectations aren't met, leading to depression. Their advice was to lower your expectations for the holidays so that you will not be disappointed. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I know that the Mental Health Association is not going to be a missionary field or place to turn for biblical counseling, but the best advice they had was to lower your expectations for the holidays? That’s depressing advice. That’s bad news. But we have good news. Your expectations aren’t high enough! Yeah, so your grandmother might ask if you’ve gained a few pounds as you reach for another macaroon. You may realize once again that you’ve invested two months of hard preparation for a house full of ripped paper and a meal devoured in fifteen minutes. But our value should not be placed in what our family thinks of us, or how wonderfully we can baste a turkey. As Tim so wonderfully articulated in his guest post, we do have something amazing to anticipate. Because Christ was incarnated--formed in Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit, humbly born and placed in a manger, lived a perfect life of love and thank offerings, died as the sacrificial lamb for our atonement, was buried, raised on the third day, seen by hundreds, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, my expectation is nothing less than his triumphant return to gather his saints and judge the world. I will then have eternity to worship him on the new heavens and new earth. This message is joy to the world! And so we should share it this season to those who are hurting. Raise your expectations to the hope that will not disappoint! Merry Christmas to all my readers!