by: Marty Paluch
This first paragraphs of this post were originally included in Salem's weekly newsletter on December 17. We thought we'd express our droll sense of humor with a little 'bait and switch' tactic. If you'd like to subscribe to our weekly update click here: https://www.salem4u.com/news/salem-e-news/ Now, back to the feature presentation:
Stop just for a minute, will you? I’m going to ask you a question. Maybe you’ll think it’s silly, maybe not, but go along with me on this one, okay? It’s important for writers to open an article with some kind of hook to draw the reader into reading more of the article. That’s what I’m trying to do here because I want you to consider this question carefully and give it a thoughtful response. Ready? Oh, before I ask THE question, are you sitting in a comfortable position? You’re not driving, I hope. If you are, please pull over now or put your phone down and read this article when your safe and comfortable, perhaps with your favorite beverage or a snack (healthy, of course. You know what? It’s Christmas. Go sneak a cookie or some of those chocolate kisses that give you a wink and a nod every time you walk by. They’re craving to be eaten as much as you are to eat them. It’s their purpose in life, really, go ahead.)
Ok, now that your situated comfortably, I’m sure you’re more than ready for the question and please, I am asking your thoughtful consideration of the matter because it just might change your perspective on life. Here we go…
Editor’s note: the author has used the entire space allotment for this article, please finish reading at salem4u.com/news
…Sorry, folks, I had no idea my editor was going to cut me off like that (he was looking a bit grumpy this morning.) Thanks for taking the time to finish reading because I can’t tell you how significant your response to my question may be.
Aren’t you just tingling with anticipation wondering what it is I’m going to ask? If you are, great. That’s what I wanted from you - a building sense of anticipation.
For real, now, here’s the question: What was the one Christmas present you anticipated more than any other? (insert pause for reflection)Hmm, let’s see was it the bike when you were eight years old or maybe the autographed football that was touched by your favorite player? Maybe Malibu Barbie and her glitzy beach house?
Whatever it was, I hope the gift was worth the wait, because anticipating something wonderful does good things for us physically, psychologically and spiritually. Joyful anticipation increases dopamine levels, fosters hope and nurtures a vision for brighter horizons.
As Christ followers, the anticipation of Christmas drives something more than our inner child’s giddiness over a package the perfect size for a new video game controller. Making and taking the time for prayer and spiritual contemplation in this advent season of anticipation is an essential item on our holiday to-do list.
Intentional time around the manger with our family and friends lifts us beyond the trappings of our culture’s version of Christmas to the anticipation of the fulfillment of Christmas. The significance of Jesus’ entry into our broken world, His life, His death and best of all, His resurrection works to energize a life with purpose now and heighten our anticipation of our life with Him to come.
We thank God even amidst the sparkles and sleigh bells we still have the privilege, the challenge and countless opportunities to help others discover the gift of salvation in Jesus, connect with others to unwrap the gift and impact others in our world with service, grace and hope.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15