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Advent and Anticipating

Jimmy Cochran Columnist

  This coming Sunday, December 2, will be the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is one of the seasons on the Christian calendar and is increasing in observance among the Protestant denominations, especially in my denomination, the Baptist church. During this season, we typically begin preparing our hearts and homes for the coming of Christ by lighting candles, having a time of devotion and by calming our lives a little so that hopefully we can feel the joy of Christmas, observed by celebrating the birth of Christ.

  Each year for the past year, I have written daily Advent devotions for several Henry and Rockdale County churches to publish for their members to use in their daily observance. It is always one of those things which end up touching my heart more than those who read them. Just to give you a head start, I share with you the thoughts for the first day of Advent on Sunday.

  During this first week we are focusing on Anticipation. The Anticipation of a coming Messiah and Savior for the Jewish people, promised by prophets long before Christ’s birth. The scripture reference for this day is Malachi 3:1-4. Take a moment to read the passage before you go any further.

  Anticipation is defined as a realization in advance; a foretaste; an expectation or hope. For generations, the Israelites had known that a Messiah was promised to them. Someone to save them from the oppressions they had known, the enslavements they had been living in and to bring a restoration to their lives and lands. Malachi is the last of the Old Testament prophets and his message was to remind the Jewish people that despite how stubborn and unfaithful they had been to God, they still had a Hope that was to come. He encouraged them to return to a right way of life, living by the standards given to them by God.

  My dog, Murphy, was a terrier with a mind of his own. If he didn’t want to come, he wouldn’t come. If he didn’t want to go chase the ball, he wouldn’t do it. If he didn’t want to eat his food, he wouldn’t eat his food. Sometimes his stubbornness got him in trouble with me and I had to fuss at him. He might pout for a while, but eventually he would come to me and look up with those big brown terrier eyes and I knew he wanted back in my good graces. There was a lot of hoping in that little 12-pound body. He would anticipate all the good treats and neck rubs that I would be giving him. And I always did.

  As we begin this season of Advent, a season of anticipation, a time where we look forward to the celebration of Christ’s birth, we may need to remember that no matter how far from God we have drifted this past year, He is still there waiting for us to return. There is always Hope when you are in God’s presence. The Hope that was born at Christmas.

   If you would like to have the daily Advent devotions, you can either contact me at The Henry County Times office (, give your name and address and they’ll let me know to send you one. Or, you can follow my blog at

 Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, author, musician and Minister.



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