Speaking Of Life 1052 | Anticipating the Anticipation
I’ll never forget when I asked my wife, Susan, to marry me and she said yes (but you will have to ask for my dad’s permission). Fortunately, he said yes.
Looking forward to our wedding day was a time of great anticipation. Anticipation is eagerly waiting for something you know is going to happen. I was giddy about the anticipation of starting my new life with my soon-to-be wife.
We all face anticipation. Someone who has just proposed marriage waits in anticipation for a positive reply. A good book or movie is often followed by a sequel and there is anticipation in awaiting the sequel’s release. Married couples anticipate the birth of a child. A child waits in anticipation for what she might get for Christmas. A student anticipates (perhaps with a bit of nervousness) the grade he will get on his final exam.
The Old Testament tells us of a nation full of anticipation – looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. Who would have guessed a barren couple would be part of the story.
In the Gospel of Luke, we find a devout married couple – Zechariah and Elizabeth – who were not able to have children. And in their old age they must have given up hope for children. But an angel of the Lord came to Zechariah and said,
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth.” (Luke 1:13-14)
Can you imagine the anticipation that grew in Elizabeth and Zechariah as the child grew within her womb!? And this would be no ordinary son. They were told by the angel that their son would be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born.
He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:16-17).
Yes, their son would become known as John the Baptizer. His ministry was to foster intense anticipation for the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
When John was born, you can only imagine that the anticipation increased. The Messiah was coming—his name is Jesus, the lamb that will take away the sins of the world.
Jesus came and brought the peace and goodwill promised—and even more anticipation. By the power of the Spirit, his ministry continues today as we actively participate, and at the same time, anticipate his return. We live in the tension that is called the “Already but not yet.” We live in the reality of the peace and goodwill, and salvation of Jesus, and at the same time we live in the anticipation of Jesus’ return in might and power, love and grace. He came and will come again to fulfill all things and make all things new.
As we anticipate celebrating Advent and Christmas, may we also anticipate the coming of the Lord our Righteous Savior, Jesus Christ. Are you giddy about the unfolding of the details that are yet to come?
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life