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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: Looking Ahead
By Marie Fink


There are moments in our lives that we get great enjoyment out of looking ahead to something. Weddings come to mind as one of those wonderfully anticipated events. The list could also include: the birth of a child, the first day of school, your first camping trip as a youngster, your first car, moving away from home for college, or the return of a loved one from afar.

There are also lesser things we may look forward to, especially when we’re young, such as the newest movie release, or the big concert for which we circled the date last year, or the first day of baseball season. This brings us to a pair of siblings who looked forward to Christmas for many reasons. Everything was different at home than usual with decorations, parties, and traditions. One time honored item came out every December 1st: the reusable fabric advent calendar. This beloved custom gave a moment of anticipation and delight to the siblings each morning as they woke. Perhaps this was a little foreshadowing of their Christmas Eve and morning to come.

The parents didn’t mind putting candy or quarters or notes or scripture verses in the pockets of the mouse, the place holder in the advent calendar, which held the tiny pieces of delight from December 1st to the 24th. This was a mere glimpse of the merriment they would experience in heaven one day.

The celebratory season came early in the household in the form of Bible lessons about the foretelling of the Savior’s birth. Mom or Dad fit them into the day whenever they could. These teachings were THE ultimate in looking ahead to a joy to come. Over the years, some of the parent’s prayers were answered in their children. They learned a lot from the continual review of the foretold prophecies in the Old Testament and the fulfillment of them in the New Testament.

Little Kay used to ask questions such as this: “Did the pole really turn into a snake and almost bite Moses as he lifted it up in the desert for the Israelites to look at and be “healed-ed”?” From which she eventually graduated to questions such as this: “Just how does Genesis 3:15 tell us that it’s the first promise in scripture of Jesus and his redemptive work?”

“What will I hear them say today when they go for the surprise in the little daily pouch?” their mother would speculate.

“I wonder what the mouse left this time?” asked curious Kay.

“Probably a piece of candy or something,” answered the astute older brother.

On some occasions the kids’ mom had only time to buy a big bag of candy and that would be what the surprise was each day. The children never seemed to mind, but perhaps grew weary of not being quite as surprised as they would have liked.

One morning when the big bag of candy was empty and the little cloth mouse delivered a different gift, the amused mom heard coming from her darling daughter, “Hmph! Lately it’s been nothing but, Her-shey, Her-shey, Her-shey. I’m glad for the change today.”

This was a great segue into the Bible lesson for the day; to look forward to the time when the Bridegroom, Christ, comes for His bride; the people who are His, when he will not say, “Oh it’s only you, you, or you.” But He will be rejoicing with us in the most anticipated wedding feast of all time.

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Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp03/12/10
I enjoyed your analogies. Very pertinent for everybody to relate to. What a great message about our gratefulness for the gift of eternal salvation in relation to temporal gifts, even as adults! Good message.
Brenda Shipman 03/17/10
Great introduction of your topic "looking forward" by sharing specific events we anticipate throughout our lives. I like how you compared the daily gifts in the advent calendar to the actual celebration of Christmas, and then the ultimate joy - heaven. Little Kay's "hershey, hershey, hershey.." was just too funny! Wonderful tie in the truth that Christ will not say "you, you, you" when he escorts us into heaven. Super job.