Read Luke 2:22-38
We spend much of life waiting. Waiting for the kids to come home, the paycheck to clear, the game to start. We wait in traffic, in lines, for our coffee to brew, and our pain to ease. We wait on doctors, on buses, on financial reports or lab results. We wait for graduation, for our grief to subside, for the grandchildren to call, for the weather to change. We even have rooms dedicated to waiting!
Each wait carries a range of emotions. Hope, fear, anticipation, anger, impatience, dread, desperation, joy, relief, responsibility, optimism, despair. And sometimes we wonder, “Where is God in my waiting?”
I wonder if Simeon ever asked that question. Luke’s Gospel describes Simeon as a righteous and devout man, “waiting for the consolation of Israel”—the Messiah, the hope of Israel, the Deliverer God had promised since the beginning of time.
Simeon was waiting on the Lord to fulfill both the ancient Messianic promise and a personal promise, revealed by the Spirit of God, that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. We don’t know when he received this revelation, how long he had waited, or how it had shaped his life. We only know that he waited faithfully.
Were there days when he was impatient, questioning God about how long it was taking? After all, it had been four centuries since the last echo of the prophets had faded. Years of loss and hardship for Israel, empires rising and falling, interlopers on David’s throne, a Temple restored to beauty but not the glory it once had under Solomon. How easy to wonder if the promises of God had failed. If the God of Jacob had forgotten His people.
Yet, Simeon waited, believing the Spirit’s words, and anticipating God would deliver on His promise.
It’s no wonder that when the day came, Simeon overflows with joy and worship! With praise to God and a prophecy to His people. His words are a capstone to the mission of Christmas and the coming of the Savior. He presents the mission publicly, to people living in darkness and losing hope.
Through Advent, we wait for the celebration of Christmas, with all its joys, promises, and traditions. And as followers of Jesus Christ, we wait for His next Advent, when He returns as King Jesus to rule the world and complete the plan of the Father.
Do we wait like Simeon—with hope and joy, ready to embrace the coming King? Our advantage is that we already know Jesus; we have seen and experienced the Lord’s salvation for ourselves. And as we wait, we’re on a joy-filled mission to carry “the light of revelation” to all people. That’s the mission of Christmas.
- What are you waiting on the Lord to do? What promises had He given to you?
- What is your heart attitude as you wait on the Lord? Do you trust Him? Or has waiting turned to doubt, impatience, despair?
- How will you follow Simeon’s lead in making Jesus known to the nations?
–Barbara Gerhart, Global Disciples