What do you think of when you hear the word anticipation?  Honestly, the first thing that comes to my mind is a commercial for ketchup from years ago, I think it was Heinz.  They sang the little jingle about anticipating the great taste of the ketchup.  Anticipation means,


the act of looking forward; pleasurable expectation”

I have to admit these past few days my anticipation has built for the release of my book, Rescuing Hope.  After two and a half years of researching, writing, editing and re-writing, I am ready to see it in people’s hands and on bookshelves. Just 11 more days.

Talk about anticipation.  Mary must have experienced anticipation on steroids. First, she is caught up in the excitement of planning her wedding to Joe, as if that wouldn’t be enough. Then she has a divine visitation telling her she’s going to have a baby. Luke 1:26-38 gives us a close up of what happened,

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

 How would you respond after being told you were going to be God’s mother?

Seriously, doesn’t the thought of that blow your mind?

Mary gave life to God who gave life to her.  Mary provided for God’s every need yet He provided for hers.

It’s crazy.

How do you think she handled the nine months leading up to His arrival?  We’re not told, but you have to know people talked about her behind her back, making wise cracks. And then there was Joe.  She had to convince Joe she hadn’t been unfaithful to him, that she really was carrying God’s Son.  Thankfully, God helped her out with that one [Matthew 1:20].

What do you think she was thinking as she went through her labor? After all, this wasn’t any ordinary baby she was about to birth.  This was Jesus. I’m sure her wheels were turning with a million and one questions, but more than anything there was excitement.  Excitement over being chosen, excitement over being able to have that special, intimate bond with God, excitement over knowing He had fulfilled His promise.

We have that same opportunity, friends, if we’ll allow it.  We, too, have been chosen [Ephesians 1:11-12].  We are able to have a special intimate relationship with Jesus, if we so desire [John 17:21, 2 Corinthians 3:16]. We also get to see God fulfill His promises to us, His children, especially the promise of eternal life [John 3:16, John 3:36, John 17:3].

Are you, like Mary, anticipating Jesus this Christmas?  How? He has come and He is coming again [Revelation 22:12]. Let the excitement begin.