Waiting Is Difficult.
At Christmas, there’s always that one family member who takes forever to open their gifts. They delicately untie each ribbon. They strategically pull off each piece of tape. Then they carefully unfold the wrapping paper.
Everyone else is thinking (or saying), “Open it already!”
Waiting is difficult!
Simeon was a man who knew how to wait. Simeon waited on God’s greater promise of the coming Messiah, but also a specific promise to him. Simeon would see the Christ before he saw death.
“25 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. 26 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. 27 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, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.’” (Lk. 2:25-32)
How did Simeon stay patient and faithful through years of waiting for the Messiah? How did he wait expectantly for the Lord’s promises to be fulfilled? What can we learn from Simeon about waiting; expectantly waiting for the Messiah’s Return?
Luke tells us that Simeon was known as a righteous and devout man. I believe these 2 characteristics hold the keys to waiting.
Key #1: Righteousness
Strong’s Concordance defines righteous as “impartial, just; especially, just in the eyes of God.” The NAS Concordance adds, “correct, righteous, by impl. innocent.”
This tells us that Simeon was a man who was conscious of his duties under the Mosaic Law. This is the tangible work involved with the Old Covenant, sacrificial system. He kept a short record of wrongs with his Heavenly Father, repenting and sacrificing as necessary.
I believe Simeon’s ability to wait expectantly was connected to his faithful sacrificial service to the Father.
Key #2: Devotion
Strong’s defines devout as, “1. taking hold well, i. e. carefully and surely; cautious. 2. reverencing God, pious, religious.”
Luke’s research shows us that Simeon also had the heart of his Heavenly Father. Unlike so many religious leaders of his day, performing sacrifices and rituals to the letter of the Law as a performance; Simeon was devout. He was in a loving relationship with God.
Following God’s commands was important for Simeon, keeping a short record of wrongs between him and his Father. However, I believe Simeon’s ability to grasp devotion increased his ability to be patient, faithful and wait expectantly.
What About Us?
We’re in a far better position than Simeon. We have the benefit of coming after Jesus Resurrection, and the sealing of the Holy Spirit. We’re under the New Covenant. The work has been done.
Jesus took our sin to the cross, making everyone who believes in Him eternally righteous. Jesus took care of the righteousness key for us! We wait expectantly for His return, understanding that we are in a right relationship with our Holy God.
Advent Devotional Challenge
Each and every day, we have a choice. We can fill our day to full capacity with work, social life and flat-out busyness. Or, we can choose to schedule a time in our day for what Western Christianity calls, Devotions.
This daily devotional time can sustain us during this busy Christmas season. More importantly, it sustains us for the Lord’s Second Coming. We read His Word, pray to Him, and listen to His whispers of promise.
He keeps us patient, faithful and waiting expectantly.
24 Chapters In 24 Days
Our church is working through the entire Gospel of Luke, leading up to Christmas Day; 24 chapter over 24 days. Why not take this devotional journey with us?
Regarding prayer, this week’s devotional prayer might look something like this:
“Lord, prepare me for Christmas by reminding me of your promises. Where do I need to be more patient and faithful? Where do I need to be more devout? Where do I need to wait expectantly?“
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
How are you at waiting? Are you a patient person? Is there a spiritual component to waiting?