By Dan Flynn

As a young boy I remember all the gifts being put around the Christmas tree. We would stare at the pile of presents anticipating the day we would open them.  Even our small white Chihuahua, Tips, had presents hung on the tree.  She would jump at the bone hanging higher than she could jump (about 8 inches off the ground).  We journeyed through Advent thinking of presents and really good food.  The funny thing is that Christmas would arrive and we would attack the gifts with high expectations.  It was fun and a great memory of my childhood.  Then, it would all be over.

What does it mean to go beyond expectation? Rarely do we have experiences that we claim are beyond anything we anticipated.  Beyond expectations is always a surprise because it so rarely happens. Christmas arrives, gifts are prepared, worship happens and then we move on, another holiday now done.  It lived up to expectation.

Yet, we know from Scripture that something was going to happen beyond expectation. God was sending His very Son to redeem us so that one day we can be in the presence of God Himself and there will be no more tears or pain. John writes of this in Revelation 7, “Never again will they hunger, never again will they thirst.… For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd … and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

This Advent season beginning Monday, December 2, we will share daily devotions to prepare us for the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. Please read these daily through Advent as a time to focus on the incredible gift of Christ that is beyond expectation.