2010-01-06 / Religion

Big Announcement, Huge Expectation!’

(Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

Just as we expected, Christmas was absolutely wonderful at our house! Gale and I had lots of fun and joy spending time with our children and grandchildren. Even though we all agreed to cut back some on our gift giving, there was still plenty to be shared. And the looks on the faces of those two little girls as they ripped open packages and dug through stockings were priceless.

Gale and I had plenty, too. We are very appreciative to our family and friends for all the expressions of love and Christmas celebration that we received.

Included among the packages that we received, one was a bit strange. A few days before Christmas, we were handed a gift bag. Gale pulled away the tissue and started to remove the mysterious contents: a baby bottle, pacifier, and baby rattler. Was this a gag gift or a subliminal message or merely a case of someone just not knowing what to give us?

It did not take Gale long to ask our youngest daughter and her husband if they were trying to tell us something. To our delight, we found that our family is about to increase again! Mallory will have a brother or sister in August, and we will have another grandbaby to divide (or more accurately, multiply) our love with.

It is wonderful to be able to enter into the new year with the anticipation of another life coming into the world through our family. In like manner, we should all enter into the new year with expectancy of what God will do in us and through us as we follow Him. And just as preparations must be made for the healthy birth and upbringing of a child, we must prepare our lives to receive and experience what God wants us to do in the coming days.

There are some characteristics in the life of an individual that lived during the childhood of Christ that we can apply to our lives to prepare and position us for what God wants to do in us and through us in 2010.

Luke 2:25-35 tells of a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who had waited for the birth of Messiah with assurance from the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen Christ with his own eyes (verses 25-26).

Before He left earth and ascended back to Heaven, Christ promised that He will return to earth for His people. We do not know the day or hour that that will take place, and we do not know if we will be alive at that Great Day, but like Simeon, as believers in Christ, we should live anticipating that event and allowing that expectation to shape how we conduct our lives and spend our time.

Simeon was described by Luke as “righteous and devout” and “the Holy Spirit was upon him” (verse 25, NIV). We, too, should strive to live that way, seeking to live lives that reflect the presence of God within and surrendering to the control of the Holy Spirit.

Without denying the very real adversities that exist in our world, with all the uncertainties associated therewith, 2010 can be a year of positive expectations as we submit to God’s plan for our lives. Like Simeon, may we live anticipating the fulfillment of God’s promises as we walk in righteousness and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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