Out of Waiting Springs Hope!
Posted in Hope
Scripture: “Moved by the Spirit, [Simeon] went into the temple courts… saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel.’ … There was also a prophetess, Anna…. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the Child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” – Luke 2: 27, 28-32, 36, 37-38
As we celebrated Christmas a couple of weeks ago, we heard afresh the story of God’s coming through Jesus, a Light shining forth in the darkness. And, so, the question this morning is how do we respond?
Today’s passages focus on knowing that the waiting rests in a hope that God is sovereign and that our lives do not rest here on earth. The praise comes forth from knowing that God has come through Christ, that through the Holy Spirit God is with us, and our hope rests in God.
I think, too often, we have a tendency to surround ourselves, protecting ourselves from life to the extent that we distance ourselves from God. Last year brought a new awareness that we really don’t have control – no matter how much we plan! There has been joy in slowing down and waiting, and, there has been pain in slowing down and waiting. I know that we each enter this place holding different stories of this past year – some filled with darkness and pain, others with joy and light, and many, with a little mix of both. So, we enter the passages this morning with this fresh awareness, God is sovereign. God is with us.
In the Book of Luke, Simeon and Anna had been waiting. Each of them had been going to the temple for years, waiting and resting in the expectation of the coming Savior. Anna had dedicated her life to worship, fasting, and prayer. They are waiting, but they also rest in the knowledge that God is already with them.
I think it’s safe to say we’ve experienced waiting this year in a way that many of us have not experienced before. We’re in the midst of an open-ended waiting. We are not sure when things will begin to return to a state that looks more like “normal,” when we’ll be able to hug our neighbors once again or gather to worship, all in one place. But out of their waiting springs hope! Out of the darkness, Christ’s light shines! The same is true for us today.
Join Simeon in his words of praise: “Lord, You now have set your servant free, to go in peace as you have promised” (Luke 2:29). What does it look like to live each day recognizing the freedom into which God has brought us through Christ by the Holy Spirit? What does it look like to live beginning each day looking to the light as it pierces through the dark in the sunrise, the Light of Christ that shines through the world? And, what does it look like to live as a people of peace?
Join Simeon in his words of praise: “For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom You have prepared for all the world to see” (Luke 2:30-31). Are there moments when you have been filled with God’s glory? Moments when you’ve seen another filled?
Join Simeon in his words of praise: “A light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:32). Jesus has come. This infant, born not of wealth or worldly power has changed the world forever. He’s come to dwell among us, to draw nearer to us, so that we might know God’s love.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Prince of Peace, as we enter into a new year, help us reflect on these words of Simeon. We praise you! Help us remember to always respond to your Gift with praise. Help us rest in knowing you are with us and we are loved. Amen.
Submitted by Rachel Smith