In 1984 a young woman, expecting her first child, couldn’t find information on what a normal pregnancy looked and felt like, so she began to write her own handbook on pregnancy–while she was pregnant. Just hours before delivering her daughter, Emma, she sent off the book proposal for What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Forty years (and twenty-two million books) later it’s the standard for what is normal during pregnancy. Publisher’s weekly reports that 97% of women who buy a book on pregnancy buy this book. But what if things had turned out differently? But what if this book had become a history book instead: as in, “how did pregnant women act thirty years ago?” What if we turned to the book not for information about how to order our lives while expecting, but only to study what people did back then? Four editions, seventeen million copies, thirteen spin-off books, and one romantic comedy movie, all dealing with how people used to treat pregnancy? That would be crazy, right? Expectant parents buy this book because they are entering new territory, and they want to know, well, what to expect. They want to know what is normal, and they want to be normal. Call it expectant Christianity.
This mediation asks the same question about the New Testament. Do we read this book as history, or are we looking for what to expect in our new life in Christ? The New Testament should be our version of expectant Christianity.