Living in Eager Anticipation
As we anxiously await the arrival of this new little one, I can’t help but compare my eager expectation of her impending appearance with anticipation of an even greater arrival — that of Jesus Christ in His second coming. Especially as we are coming up on the season of Advent (which means “coming”), when we celebrate the Christmas season as the first arrival of our Messiah on earth, I am occupied with thoughts of how every new day is filled with the possibility of change, growth and progress in the direction of His kingdom. The people of God had waited thousands of years, generation upon generation, for Christ’s arrival; to the point where the anxious anticipation was perhaps all but forgotten. But then, Emmanuel came. And everything changed.
In the same way a new baby changes the rhythms and routines of our everyday living, so should our anticipation of the Lord’s return affect how we approach life. In the last few days, I’ve gone to bed at night thinking, “Is this it? Could she be here by morning?” It makes every small detail loom large and significant. How differently would my day go, how would my actions and behavior be affected, if I started each morning with the same thought… “Is this it? Will He return today?”
The author of Hebrews speaks of Christians in the early church living “in these last days” (Hebrews 1:2), referring to how much closer they were to the fulfillment of God’s promises and the complete restoration of His kingdom on earth. And that was nearly 2,000 years ago! We are that much closer today. Do we live like it? I know I don’t wake up every day thinking how life could change in an instant with the return of Jesus. But I think I should. Because isn’t that the fullness of the joy which we experience only a small portion of at Christmas time? Isn’t it the same eager anticipation with which the author of Revelation wrote: