Waiting

21 December 2020

Hey family! Only four more days until Christmas day. Today we’re looking at Simeon and how he waited for the fulfillment of the promise given to him by the Holy Spirit. We can glean a few principles for the potentially annoying task of waiting. Like most things, if done well, waiting can glorify God and bring us closer to him.

Simeon had been eagerly awaiting the end of Israel’s suffering and the promised comfort brought by the messiah. He was described as righteous and devout, devoted to the study and understanding of scripture. He could have let the cares of the world sweep him up. Instead, he chose to pursue the things of God consistently.

The Holy Spirit told him that he’d see the messiah before he died. So he eagerly anticipated the day he’d see him. We can expect God’s promises to come to pass, everything else will come and go, but God’s promises are foundational. Simeon wasn’t surprised when the Spirit directed him to the temple because he anticipated the promise’s fulfillment. 

Simeon obeyed the Spirit and met Joseph and Mary at the temple, and he recognized that their child was the Christ right away. Luke doesn’t explicitly tell us how he knew, but it’s safe to assume the Spirit confirmed who this baby was. The power of perception isn’t precisely ours to control; instead, it is given to us by the Holy Spirit. For example, in Luke 24, two disciples walked with the resurrected Jesus as he explained scripture and later even ate a meal with them before his identity was allowed to be known.

This year Christmas is taking place in a chaotic world, and everyone can feel its effects. As we all wait to see how this is all resolved, we can practice godly waiting as Simeon did. We can devote ourselves to study the scriptures, eagerly anticipating the fulfillment of God’s promises and obey the directing of the Holy Spirit. And we can recognize God’s answers in and all around us, and that’s worth celebrating, I think. Merry Christmas, my wonderful church!

Jonathan Duncan