the big idea:
We’re used to throwing parties to remember what happened in the past. We celebrate an anniversary to remember a wedding day. We attend a high school reunion to celebrate, ahem, our younger years. Similarly, we’re used to throwing parties for things that are happening now, like a farewell or a promotion.

What about celebrating something big… something life changing… something historic… that hasn’t even happened yet?

Our Christmas celebrations look back on Jesus, who took on our human flesh and blood to rescue the world from sin and death. But God’s promise predates even the first Christmas. God launched his rescue plan soon after sin entered the world. Thereafter, countless believers lived through thousands of years with intangible, immeasurable anticipation.

They celebrated Jesus before he was ever born.

As we lean into Christmas this year, our prayer is that we would re-capture the “thrill of hope” connected to this boy child in the manger. We’ll draw on 1000’s of years of anticipation to fuel our own celebrations.

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4-6).



Imagine how Mary felt when Jesus, her promised Savior, made his presence known for the first time in her womb? As we experience firsthand the fulfillment of our anticipation, our hearts smile to have finally seen what we have longed to see for so long! Luke 1:46-55


Over time God began to reveal more and more details concerning how he would bring his promise to fulfillment. Those details filled God’s people with wonder as they began to see his power and wisdom in action. We know so much more of the story than they ever did. How can we not, like them, be filled with wonder and awe? Luke 1:39-45


As believers begin to see the signs that God is laying the groundwork in preparation for the fulfillment of his promise, they take notice. God’s people look for ways to prepare themselves as the anticipation increases. Are we ready? John 3:1-6


When things are bad, a word of promise can revive our sinking souls and fill us with a longing to see that promise fulfilled. Jeremiah 33