We began to read through the Jesus Storybook Bible (again) a couple of weeks ago, figuring that reading one story a night would bring us to the story of Jesus' death and resurrection just in time for Easter. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Jesus Storybook Bible, the stories begin with Creation and march forward through the Old Testament, always pointing toward Jesus, the One who would come as the great Rescuer of God's people.
"Is it time for Jesus yet?" he asked. Not yet, I would tell him, and we would count the number of stories until we got to the New Testament section.
Last night, we read the last Old Testament story. Today, he came to me, asking, "Mommy, are we ready for the Jesus stories tonight?" When I said yes, he could barely contain himself. "YAY! It's time for Jesus!"
Don't you just love the excitement of children? And this time, it reminds me of the excitement I should have for Jesus. We live in the in-between time, looking back on His first coming and ahead to His return someday. The idea of Him returning for His church used to fascinate me, but as I got older, there were things I wanted to do first - see the world, fall in love, get married, have children. Come, Lord Jesus...but let me live a little first! And now, with my children growing, I wonder - am I more fascinated by this earthly life than I am by being reunited with my Lord and Savior?
I am realizing that while I live life this side of Heaven, there are some things I can do to nurture that fascination. Truly investing in my time with the Lord each day, for one. I'm in a season of life right now where it is too easy to let that time slip away because of the demands of the day, but I want the excitement of my son - "Is it time for Jesus? Do I get to spend time with Him now?"
The book of John says that Jesus "became flesh and made his dwelling among us" - literally "pitched his tent" in the midst of us. He came to be with us - and even more, to make the unknowable God, known to us (John 1:18). Did you know that the Greek word there for "made him known", exegeomai, has in it the idea of explaining something, of relating a story point by point. Jesus' life and teaching and ministry explained the Father to us in a way He had never been explained before. And through the coming and ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who place their trust in Jesus, He still does.
That is something we should be excited about! And with Easter only three weeks away, it is a good time to reflect and to ask God to fill us with joy at knowing Him, and for the ability to have Him dwell in and with us, and for the excitement of a little child, thrilled to pieces that it is finally time for Jesus. It is what I am committing myself to in a new way tonight.
What do you do to keep your time with the Lord exciting and fresh? I would love to hear your ideas!