Advent is a season of waiting. The word “Advent ” literally means, “coming”. It communicates expectancy, anticipation, and a fervent belief that hope is near. In our society today, waiting often conveys an attitude of passivity and an unwillingness to engage, yet, that was not the case for many Israelites who were awaiting their Messiah.

In the gospel of Luke, Simeon, a just and devout Israelite, demonstrated his anticipation of seeing the Messiah, with his own eyes, as he spent his entire life waiting with expectancy. In Luke 2:25-26, Simeon was said to be “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.” Just imagine the passion, the expectation, the hope! Simeon’s ancestors had waited for centuries for their Messiah to come, and so many of them died before this promise came to fruition. Yet Simeon had been promised that he would get to see his Lord and Savior face to face! This was Simeon’s greatest longing and passion. Simeon had a heart of pursuit.

Simeon so anticipated his Savior that he was willing to actively wait. Henri Nouwen says, “A waiting person is a patient person… Patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment.” Advent is a season to nurture each moment; a season in which to actively wait.

Advent is a time for recognizing and looking for all of the ways that Christ comes to us. Christ came to Simeon in the form of a child. Christ comes to many today in their despair. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.” It is less than human to wait expectantly for something less than we already have. Yet to wait for more, for better, for the divine? This is a holy pursuit!

Simeon expresses his ultimate longing in Luke 2:30-32 as he says, “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.” What an amazing moment worth waiting for!

What are you longing and hoping for today? Are you grumbling about the waiting and lamenting the process? Or can you find joy, hope, and expectancy in the waiting itself? Choose today whether you will wait passively or with a heart of pursuit.

Lynette Fuson
Director of Care & Counseling

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