I don’t know about you, but I always feel a certain kind of magic in the air the moment Christmas Eve rolls around. It may be because it’s the last morning that I have to wake up at a very early hour for Dawn Mass1, or because it’s a non-working holiday and I can finally (sort of) rest, or because I can finally open the presents waiting for me under the tree2. Or maybe, maybe it’s because Advent is all about waiting, and Christmas Eve somehow feels like it’s the end of all the waiting for this season. Christmas is tomorrow, friends!
But can you imagine this: what if it’s just Christmas Eve…forever?
I’d talk about Groundhog Day here, but since I haven’t watched that movie (Don’t hate me!), I’ll go for something a little more familiar to me. There’s this Sweet Valley Twins book with the same idea, where Jessica was stuck in Christmas Eve for several days because she was so self-absorbed and ruined everyone’s Christmas. The only way she can get out is if she makes it right on that day, and eventually, she did break that time loop, with a bigger heart for Christmas and everyone else around her.
How frustrating it must be, to keep on waking up on the same day, never reaching that day you have been waiting for.
Even more frustrating, is how sometimes we thought we did things right, but end up still stuck in some kind of Eve, never arriving to where we wanted to be.
Sometimes, it feels like life is like that. We wait for something for a long time, and then when you thought it’s already here, it turns out it’s not. And you end up having to wait some more. And more. Sometimes we want to give up on waiting, so we do things: we try to make it come earlier by celebrating earlier, we distract ourselves with other things that require less waiting. Sometimes, we pretend it doesn’t matter. Sometimes we get tired of the waiting that we just give up.
Sometimes, it feels like we’re stuck at the Eve and we would never get to the Day.
But the thing about Christmas, and Christmas Eve, is that we are assured of the promise that Christmas will arrive. That the Messiah will come. No, wait, scratch that — that the Messiah has come, and He is born, and that God is already with us. All the waiting, the anticipating, and the frustrations come to a halt when Christmas morning comes, because Jesus is born. The prophecy has come true. God’s promise is here.
Emmanuel. God is with us.
I think one of God’s reminders for us today is to trust in His faithfulness. It may seem like we are and we have been waiting forever, like we’re stuck in some sort of Eve all our lives. But remember Christmas. Remember that day when God came down to the world for us, and became one of us. We have been waiting for a long time, but we have a God who is true to His word, and with Him, our waiting is never wasted.
O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
Have a blessed and joyful Christmas, everyone!