25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:25-32
Another Christmas has come and gone. I hope yours was merry. We’ve waited for it since the first decoration went up at Halloween. We’ve prepared for it for weeks, if not months. We’ve spent more money on this one holiday than we will spend on gift-giving and celebrations for the rest of the year. We are done with Advent, done with waiting for Jesus’ birthday – until next fall.
When Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus into the temple, Simeon had spent his whole life waiting. He celebrated with a song of gratitude. He understood that the baby in front of him was the answer to our problems which God had promised for so long. He knew that Jesus would open the way to Heaven for everyone who believes in Him. That gave Simeon the peace to live and die well.
But even though Advent is over now, we are still waiting for Jesus. He solved our sin problem the first time He came, but we still have a lot of other problems in this world, and He promised to come back and solve those, too, to end sickness and sorrow and misery. The next time He comes, He won’t be a baby any more. He will be a mighty warrior who will defeat all the evil in the world for all time. The whole Bible ends with the promise that Jesus is coming back soon: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Rev. 22:12,13). So as you recover from your Christmas celebration this year, remember that we are still living in a time of Advent. We have not finished waiting – faithfully, expectantly and hopefully – for the return of our Savior and King.
- What was the best part of this Advent season while you’ve been waiting for Christmas to come?
- How can you translate the joyful anticipation of Christmas each year into a lifelong attitude of expectancy for the return of Christ?