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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Waiting and Watching with Hope

In Luke 2:21-35 Simeon’s “waiting for the consolation of Israel” is different from the reality of the Jews and religious leaders. He was waiting and watching for Messiah. He had separated himself from other Jews by living a holy life and being lead by the Holy Spirit. Most leaders and Jews were not like Simeon. They were hypocrites and were not seeking God, but only what benefited them. We find that in our world today as well. There are people (maybe even leaders) who are only out for their own glory and profit in the church and not truly seeking God.

 Here’s a few things we can learn from Simeon:
1.  Stuff isn’t important
Simeon didn’t fall into that trap. He was looking for the Messiah… and who did he find? He found Jesus, this baby being carried by Joseph & Mary., they were part of the ordinary crowd of people who came into the Temple every day. If anything distinguished them – it was the fact that they were poor. Luke 2:21-24 says they brought two small birds. According to the law, a person of means who gave birth to a child was required to bring a lamb as their sacrifice. But a poor couple brought what Joseph and Mary offered: a couple of small birds. This couple’s poverty, didn’t phase Simeon. He was not distracted by appearances.

2. We need to look for Christ

Simeon was looking for Jesus. What robs many people, including Christians, of the peace that Christmas can have is that we get caught up in looking for everything but Jesus. And thus, the manger of Christmas becomes empty for us.

3. We need to prepare ourselves to receive God’s blessings.
Simeon was not a particularly important man, but he was known as a righteous and a devout man. In Greek his name means “taking a good hold” on something. for him, God was at the center of this his life.. He was constantly in the Temple fasting, praying, and worshiping God.

He was not a CEO (Christmas - Easter only) type of worshipper, or every other Sunday attendee. Simeon was the type of worshipper who would have been present every time the church doors were opened. He was dedicated and loved God with all of his heart, soul and mind.

It was only to him, a lady named Anna, and a bunch of shepherds that God revealed His message of peace. Wonder why? They were waiting and watching with hope!

Be wise today and always - look for Jesus this year (you will find Him).