8th December 2019

Anticipating the Anticipation

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Luke 1:32-33 (NIV UK)

When I asked my wife to marry me and she said yes—but you will have to ask 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.

We all face anticipation. And the Old Testament tells us of a nation full of anticipation—looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. In the Gospel of Luke, we find a devout childless couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth. And in their old age they must have given up hope for children. But an angel of the Lord said to Zechariah: “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 which grew in Elizabeth and Zechariah as the child grew within her womb!? And this was no ordinary son. They were told by the angel that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from before birth: “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). Their son would become known as John the Baptizer. His ministry would foster intense anticipation for the coming Messiah.

When John was born, imagine how that 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 more. 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 called the ‘already but not yet’; in the reality of the peace and goodwill, and salvation of Jesus; and at the same time we live in anticipation of Jesus’ return in might and power, love and grace. He came and will come again to fulfil all things and make all things new.

Eternal Father, we see the sorrows of this world and eagerly cry for and anticipate your Son’s return. Please help us to see clearly—to envision our future with you—with anticipation and faith. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study presented by Greg Williams

About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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