One Worth Waiting For

AM Psalm 16, 17; PM Psalm 22
Amos 5:1-17; Jude 1-16; Matt. 22:1-14

One of my favorite Advent characters is Simeon, whose story is found in Luke 2.

Luke 2:22-35 22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 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.” 33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

Simeon personifies “advent waiting.” Who knows how long he had waited? What kind of thoughts and experiences had torn at his mind and heart over the years to stop believing in Yahweh’s promises. How old and foolish he must have felt. And on top of it all, this strange personal promise from God: Simeon would not die until the messiah appeared.

As he grew older, he must have grown in expectation. Like any good Jew who believed in the Messiah, he awaited his glorious appearing at the temple. But instead of a royal arrival, a dirt poor family from the bad country of Galilee arrives- the same as hundreds of families in any week- and God says “There. Look there.”

Simeon asks to hold the child, and prays such an extraordinary response to God: “Now I can die…for I have seen your salvation.”

And on the way out, on the way to his own now-possible/peaceful death, Simeon sets Mary to waiting, with the first promise of the sufferings of Jesus.

This is how we wait. This is who we wait for. And when he comes, we wait again, for his passion to arrive, for his return, for our passing to his Kingdom. Advent reminds us that life is consumed by waiting, but life is determined by who or what we wait for..

God says that we are waiting for our salvation. Our deliverance. From waiting, from death, from lives without purpose. We wait for Jesus….one worth waiting for.

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~ by Michael on December 2, 2005.

3 Responses to “One Worth Waiting For”

  1. Thanks, Michael

    Simeon is wonderful. I love the fact that he basically says: “It’s safe to die now. The Savious has come!” What a freeing truth!

    Richard

  2. I, too, am spending time meditation on the waiting of Simeon this Advent season. Thank you for such wonderful thoughts on Simeon’s story.

  3. […] (Update: Go To Bethlehem and See, a great collection of advent posts in particular one on the waiting of Simeon) […]

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