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Devotion: The Waiting Game

The children of Israel had waited and waited for the promised Messiah, and then they waited some more.  Simeon, “who was righteous and devout,” was among those “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25).  He waited with eager anticipation, for “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (v. 26).  When he saw Jesus presented in the temple, he knew that his wait was over, and he had the privilege of holding the promised Messiah in his arms as he exclaimed,
“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” (Luke 2:29-32).
The prophetess Anna was also present, and she too recognized the significance of the moment.  She and Simeon may have been advanced in years, but their faith and enthusiasm for the Lord was fresh and new.  Anna “never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying” (Luke 2:37).  Their years of service, faith, and constant immersion in Gods promises and presence honed their hope and made their wait joyful and fruitful rather than a mere marking of time.  And this hope was affirmed and rewarded at the presentation of the infant Jesus.  Their years of waiting, even (perhaps especially) in their old age, were not empty, but filled with worship, prayer, and service that refreshed them constantly and doubtless inspired many of the younger worshipers.
Simeon’s exclamation of praise and faith, often referred to as the Nunc Dimittis, is of course the basis for the post-communion canticle often sung as part of our liturgy.  In Holy Communion, we, like Simeon at the temple, are granted the incredible privilege of seeing and touching our Lord’s very real presence.  It is even our sacred privilege to taste our salvation, thereby receiving forgiveness and refreshment for body and soul.
Simeon and Anna were blessed to see their newborn Savior, the fulfillment of the promise, though they likely died before Christs work was completed.  And we too are still waiting, for the work of salvation is now complete, but our ultimate hope and certainty is the second coming of our Lord and the glorious resurrection and new life that will accompany His return.  And while we wait, we, like Simeon and Anna and so many other saints, should be growing ever more joyful and ardent in our worship and in our service.
So we wait and wait, and then we wait some more.  When we grow weary, we return to our Lords table, and we are refreshed to wait awhile longer.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen.   Revelation 22:20-21.

Published October 3, 2008

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