As we step into this Advent season, let’s take a moment to mull over the concept of anticipation together. When is the last time you really, truly looked forward to something? When you held out hope for something you knew was going to come to pass? Maybe it was something simple, like looking forward to a new episode of a favored TV show, or the latest book in a series. Maybe it was something deeper, like looking forward to spending time with your family, or go on a vacation. Perhaps it was a life stage, like retirement, or graduation, or the start of a new career.

When we think about anticipation during Advent season, several things may come to mind. We may anticipate the arrival of Christmas morning, of gifts, of time off school or work, or of family time. It is extremely easy to get wrapped up in the season. While navigating our way through the busyness of the season we should regularly take a moment to stop and ponder the anticipation we celebrate, the anticipation of the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

In Genesis, as Jacob is speaking his final blessing over his children at the end of his life, he states “I wait for [expect, anticipate] your salvation, O Lord.” Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses all awaited with eager anticipation the day when the Lord would fix the brokenness of the world, and of mankind. The prophets awaited the same, and foretold of its coming. Jeremiah puts this hope and anticipation on full display as he cries out to God, “Our hope is in You.

In Advent, we are to stop and remember what it must have been like to wait upon the Lord’s timing, for the coming of salvation through Jesus. The patriarchs felt this anticipation. The psalmist experienced it. The kings of Israel knew it intimately. The prophets spoke of it in certain terms, proclaiming it’s coming.

Then, for four hundred years, the prophets were silent.

The world continued on. Israel continued waiting. Powers came and went. Empires arose, fell, then rose anew. All the while, all of creation groaned out in eager expectation for salvation to arrive. Then when the fullness of time had come…

God sent forth His Son. (Gal 4:4)

-Pastor Chris

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:18–25 (ESV)