On a Christian Campus
My first semester of junior year is almost over. Thanksgiving has come and gone; Advent and Christmas are coming soon. By the time this part of the semester comes and finals arrive, I long for Christmas to be here. My roommates and I decorate our rooms in anticipation and play Christmas music every day. I start planning the gifts I?m going to purchase for my loved ones and close friends. I love to view all the light displays in the area when I drive at night.
I can hardly wait to leave behind my dorm room for Christmas break and go home, where I know all the familiar sights, sounds, and smells that I love will be waiting for me. Baking Christmas goodies while listening to Christmas music is a holiday activity that I especially look forward to. Decorating the Christmas tree, shopping with Mom, watching the snow fall outside the window, sitting down in the evening to enjoy all the lights and decorations, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship services-these are the things that I long for by the end of the semester. As I sit in my last week of classes, I have a longing to be done with everything and make the long drive home because I know it will finally be here. I don?t really have to think beyond Christmas break, and can enjoy the relaxation and joy of the Christmas season.
As I sit here lost in thoughts of Christmas and how much I long for all the cares of school to done for the semester, I realize that maybe there is more that I long for then the traditions of the Christmas season. There is more than finishing this semester. There is more than the lights and decorations all over campus that make the anticipation grow every day throughout December. There is more than decorations, baking, shopping, snow, presents, and family memories.
When I look beyond this Advent and Christmas season, there is a lot ahead of me. One more year left of college. There are decisions to make about internships and graduate school. There are decisions about what to do and where to live over the summer. I think we all long to feel confident about where the future is going. We long to have safety, security, and good health. We long to have our families close and know that they will always be with us.
God’s Old Testament people waited and longed for many centuries. The longings I have in this temporary life seem so small and short compared to the longing of the Israelites for a Savior. They also seem small compared to the longing that I have for Christ to come again. So often it is easy to get caught up in the pleasures and possessions of this world and forget that we have something far more lasting (for all eternity) waiting for us.
In Luke 2 :29-31, when Simeon saw the long-awaited Messiah, he declared “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people?? Simeon longed for Jesus to come and the mere sight of Him was enough for Simeon. He needed nothing else in this world because he knew God?s promise of a Savior was true.
I’m going to be asking myself this Christmas season “What am I longing for? What am I looking forward to?? I will still be excited for Christmas break and celebrating with my loved ones. I will be baking those goodies, decorating the tree, and listening to all the beautiful music. But I will also be excited over the fact that our Savior came. He is living and present among us, and He will be coming again. ” Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing? (2 Timothy 4:8).
Contributed by Christiana