The thing about anticipation is that it goes hand in hand with the waiting.
And like I always say, the waiting is the hardest part.
(Just kidding. I don’t ever say that. That’s Tom Petty.)
(My father would be so proud that I know that.)
I think it’s interesting that the introduction to the Christmas story as told by the gospel of Luke doesn’t begin with Mary and Joseph but rather with Elizabeth, who Luke tells us was “very old and childless,” as she had not been able to conceive.
I’m going to assume, both from her reaction to her late-in-life pregnancy and my own experience with years of an empty womb, that Elizabeth had spent years waiting and wondering and hoping.
Luke describes her as a righteous woman but she notes that her childless status had left her disgraced among her people. I imagine that as time passed it took some of her hope along with it, that perhaps she felt, with a quiet acceptance, a little bit resigned to her circumstances.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that before the miracle we’re reminded of the barren.
The Christmas story starts in the waiting.
The Angel Gabriel goes on to tell Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband, that she will have a son and that his purpose will be “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (vs)
And Elizabeth’s long season of waiting fades as her life story moves from resignation to anticipation.
Before Mary and Joseph
Before three wandering wise men
Before a baby in a manger
there was the stillness of the waiting and the quiet, hopeful preparation of hearts for what was to come.
Joy to the world.
“For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.”
– Galatians 5:5
Remind yourself of the joy that comes after the waiting. Click the image or this link to download this Christmas printable.