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Anticipation is expecting God to ACT in advance and looking forward to what God will DO in our lives

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Read Luke 18:15-17

Athletes anticipate the gold. Students anticipate report cards. Families anticipate vacations. All waiting for the reward after putting in the hard work. We all love to anticipate the holidays and times with family and friends. We anticipate and prepare for Jesus birth through Advent and for his death and resurrection though Lent. Anticipating is an action verb of expecting and realizing in advance. The historical Latin of the verb means ‘to take care of ahead of time’ and the 1809 meaning is the ‘action of looking forward to.’ Martha is the definition of “anticipation.”

Martha was looking forward to Jesus’ arrival and her home was ready, every detail taken care of ahead of time. I don’t think Martha was caught by surprise when Jesus walked into her town because news of the Teacher has been buzzing across the countryside, throughout the villages and discussed around many supper tables. He was on his way to Jerusalem and it’s possible Martha perused the grocery booths daily, in hopes of spotting Jesus ministering in the crowds as he came through the gates (Luke 9:51-53). Since Mary, Martha, and Lazurus spent time with Jesus on previous visits, they were familiar with his habits and needs (John 11). So, Martha was filled with joyful anticipation and actively seeking another arrival of Jesus. She was expectant, ready to have supper with the Savior and welcome him into her space.

We, like Martha, can be filled with joyful anticipation Jesus, too. We can anticipate uplifting worship to our Father God with fellow believers on Sunday. We can anticipate meeting Jesus when we open our Bible and read his love letters to us. We can anticipate the Holy Spirit guiding and directing us as we spend time in prayer. Anticipation is expecting God to act in advance and looking forward to what God will do in our lives. Anticipation is preparing to meet him, in a ready place, with an expectant heart, an open mind and listening ears.

Reflection and Response

Lent is an entire season devoted to anticipating and preparing our hearts to celebrate Resurrection Sunday when it arrives. How are you looking forward to celebrating Holy Week? Begin to make plans for where you would like to be for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Day. Decide who you would like to celebrate with and brainstorm ideas of what you might do when you’re together.

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By Donna Burns 

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