Lately I've been thinking about the years before Jesus was born, of what the Jewish people must have thought as they waited for God to deliver on his promise of a Savior. I was reading through the copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible (which I love and very highly recommend, not just for kids, but adults, too), thinking about some things to read in the Christmas service at The Bridge.
I love this part so much that I just had to record it here - this is from Ezra and Nehemiah and Malachi, where the Jewish people are celebrating the things that God has done for them.
They remembered how God had always, all through the years, been loving his children - keeping his promise to Abraham, taking care of them, forgiving them. Even when they disobeyed. Even when they ran away from him. Even when they thought they didn't need him.
Then God told his children something more...
I can't stop loving you. You are my heart's treasure. But I lost you. Now I am coming back for you...I am going to send my Messenger - The Promised One. The One you have been waiting for. The Rescuer. He is coming. So, get ready!
It had taken centuries for God's people to be ready, but now the time had almost come for the best part God's plan.
God himself was going to come. Not to punish his people - but to rescue them.
God was getting ready to wipe away every tear from every eye.
And the true party was just about to begin..."
From The Jesus Storybook Bible, written by Sally Lloyd-Jones