Hopeful Anticipation

Traditions.

Such a simple word, but one that brings up so many emotions and memories. As a kid I was always amazed at how various cultures celebrated holidays so differently. I grew up celebrating Christmas outside in 90-degree weather, with fireworks and ice cream. Since moving to the States, I have realized that my “normal” Christmas feels more like the “normal” 4th of July for most people raised in the USA. Yet this difference in traditions has only made me appreciate more the pre-season festivities and anticipation that Christmas brings.

 Photo by  Pablo Heimplatz  on  Unsplash

I have learned to enjoy all the traditional Christmas carols that kick off the season. I was so excited when I found out that we were going to learn more about this topic as a church through the advent season. Music has a unique way of reaching to the depth of our hearts and influencing the way we think. This year I have been thinking a lot about what it means to anticipate. During the Christmas season, we anticipate Emmanuel. We look for. We hope. We await. Through music, we hear the message of salvation over and over again – and we let it take root in our heart.  We anticipate the “Holy Night.” The night where “the stars are brightly shining; it is the night of our dear Savior’s birth…”

As we enter the new year, let us continue to grow in anticipation.

Just as we await the celebration of the birth of our Savior during the Christmas season, let us increase in hope as we await his return. At Christmas, we celebrate because God sent His son to bring hope to a hopeless world. Now, that hope has come, and we eagerly await the fulfillment of that hope. At the start of this year, as we look ahead, let our thoughts and our goals be characterized by the hope that Jesus brought, and the anticipation of his coming.

About the Author: Maribeth has recently discovered a love for writing and communicating what the Lord has put on her heart through the written word. Maribeth currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is part of Antioch Community Church. You might find her drinking chai at a local coffee shop with a good book in hand, working at the local hospital as a nurse, or enjoying her new friends. But one thing is certain, she will probably have on some form of pink attire.