“Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him according to the custom of the law, Simeon took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace according to your word. For my eyes have seen your salvation, that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people, Israel.'”
I love the story of Simeon, even reading Luke 2, this is like Christmas in July. This is so good, reading about Jesus’ birth. And then to come to this story of this man who for years was waiting for the consolation of Israel, who had been told that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ, the Messiah, the coming King. Just imagine that day after day after day in your life, waiting, waiting for this promise that is coming. Confident that his promise will come, but not knowing when that might happen. And then finally seeing the fulfillment of that promise. What joy, after years and years and years of waiting to have that joy. What a rush to hold Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah in your hands.
May we be found faithful as we wait upon the Lord. Even as we long for our waiting to be over, help us to be filled with joy in Christ.
And I read this and I think about different circumstances that different ones of us are walking through in a sense that we’re all walking through in the middle of this pandemic. Waiting for it to subside, waiting for a vaccine, waiting for whatever resolution might come in the months, year, years ahead. Not knowing when that will be. We’re waiting. I think about others who, just in different ways, you’re waiting. You are in a time where you long for something right now, you have a desire for something right now and you are having to wait. This has certainly been the case for us. As we are waiting to adopt our child, who we were just a few days away from going to pick up until COVID hit. And we have been waiting for months now and don’t know how long the waiting will last, but I know we’re not the only ones in that boat.
And so we pray. Oh God, we confess. We have a hard time waiting, in many ways. we long for your blessing in certain ways. Now God, we long in our family for this child to come into our home. God, I know others are waiting in different ways, longing for this or that. Longing for this person, for relief from this struggle, for your answer to this prayer. And so we pray. In a Simeon like way, give us faith and hope and trust and strength and joy in the middle of the waiting. Even as we long for the day, when our waiting will be over, in an ultimate sense, Jesus, we are waiting for your return. We long for your return. We long for you to bring an end to sin and suffering and death in this world.
So many ways, oh God, we long for that day. So bring it about, we pray. We wait with hope. We wait with anticipation for your return. When you will make all things new. And we praise you that it has been revealed to us that you are coming back. Obviously we don’t know if that will be before any one of us dies, but we know you’re coming back. We trust in you. We put all of our hope in you and we find in even our waiting in this way, we find joy. And we find strength, we find confidence for whatever the next day holds, because we know that one day, all things will be made new.
So we wait with joy and trust with faith and with hope in you, just like Simeon did day after day after day. And we look forward to the exhilaration, to the rush when our waiting will be over, when we will see your face. Revelation 22:4. Behold your glory, our faith turned to sight. Hasten the coming of that day and grant us we pray patience, strength, joy in the waiting in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.