When people come into our home this time of year, the first thing they see is a small nativity scene set up on a table in the front hallway.  There isn’t anything particularly unusual about our nativity scene except for one thing:  there is no Jesus in the manger. 
No, it didn’t get lost over the years.
No, my kids didn’t break it when they were little.
No, Carly hasn’t chewed on it (at least not yet).
Every year when the decorations are brought out, someone in our family has responsibility for hiding the baby Christ child — until Christmas Day.  The empty manger helps re-create the sense of anticipation in our home throughout the month of December.  It’s a fun tradition and a practical one from a spiritual perspective.
In this day and age, when we are part of an impatient culture, it’s easy to miss the opportunity to be still and ponder the anticipation of Jesus’ coming.  There is so much opportunity for worship and to experience joy and peace in this rich season of anticipation!
Life is, in fact, a process of anticipating Jesus’ coming AGAIN.

Revelation 1:8
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

LORD ALMIGHTY, thank you for being God with me — Immanuel.  I don’t want to live a single day without you and yet I want to spend this Christmas season re-learning what it means to anticipate Your coming. I am so grateful that you came and that you will come again, once and for all.  Please keep deepening my understanding of and appreciation for who You are and for the reality that You are coming soon!  AMEN