“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”   Matthew 1:22-23
When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we could hardly contain our excitement. We had nine months of anticipation and preparation. We started thinking about the things we would need in the house. Crib, diapers, bottles, blankets, clothes, diaper bag, and on and on the list went. We couldn’t wait to tell our parents and families. Every doctor’s visit gave us new information about our anticipated child’s birth. We began working with our families to prepare for the things we needed. We started considering names and thinking about how this birth would change our lives.
Matthew tells us that the birth of Jesus was even more “anticipated” than a normal child’s birth. Jesus Christ was not just a normal child.  He had been anticipated for centuries. Genesis 3:15 promised Adam and Eve that the “seed of the woman” would come to crush Satan’s head and deal the death blow to his hold of sin on man. The lambs slain for their sin and the animal skin to cover their nakedness pictured the promise of the “Lamb of God” who would one day pay sin’s ultimate price once for all (Heb. 10:4-10).
All of Israel was looking for the coming of the promised Messiah. The birth of Jesus was anticipated as the fulfillment of God’s promise of redemption.  Today children look forward to Christmas with great anticipation as well. Often their focus is on the external things since they are very obvious. They look forward to being off of school, receiving gifts, having family together, having big celebrations with special treats, and all the Christmas decorations that are so beautiful. But it is more difficult for them to see the spiritual anticipation because it is not physically visible. The spiritual truth of redemption and the promise of Christ’s second coming must be kept before our minds and those of our children. Anticipate the celebration of the birth of our Redeemer.
Pastor Harris