7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. 9 Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
I well remember waiting on the arrival of each of our children. The time seemed to crawl by instead of leaping forward as we would have wished, especially for my wife who was distinctly “great with child.” I suspect for her it could not happen soon enough. At the same time it was a joyful time of waiting the arrival of what is often called a “bundle of joy.”
Isaiah’s watchmen were waiting in a joyfully expectant way for the coming of the Lord. They were joyful in their waiting. As a young boy I remember waiting joyfully for our father to come up to visit us in the country and maybe even take us fishing. This would be very special as we would have time alone with him. Sometimes he would not make it when he thought he would because of his work situation or because he missed his ride up from the “big” city to the farm. What disappointment; but then again what rejoicing when he did arrive!
Often we get somewhat jaded regarding Christmas and all the “hoopla” surrounding the season. The stores and celebrations seem like they have gone on for months instead of days – and sometimes they actually have done so. This year I have seen some Christmas items and decorations in October. I would urge you to be like the watchmen of Isaiah who waited expectantly, even joyfully, for the coming of the Lord. The angels who heralded the birth of our Savior did so with the words “good tidings of great joy” and so it should be for each of us as we remember what Christmas is all about once more.
As you pray today, ask God to help you consider what is soon to come on Christmas day and to wait with a joyful expectation that more than makes up for the frustrations you will feel at intense commercialization and the words of those who would rather we just skip it.