I do not like to wait. And December seems to be one long month of waiting. In fact, the seasonal waiting starts right after Halloween these days! Is Christmas here yet? It’s time off, a chance to eat special food, see people for the annual traditions, and sing favorite songs.
One of my favorite Adventure In Odyssey tapes when I was younger was the “Back to Bethlehem” series where the characters traveled in the “Imagination Station” to Bethlehem around the time Jesus was born. On of the characters was Simeon, an old guy who had waited a very long time for the Messiah to come. His story is found in Luke 2:
“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.”
Imagine waiting and waiting your whole life. And knowing that God would work to bring the Savior, but not knowing how or when or what it would look like. But Simeon got to be in the temple on the day that Jesus was dedicated to God. And he spoke of hope for all people, Gentiles as well as the Jews.
People probably called him crazy to wait like that. He probably had moments where he agreed with them. But God was promising…and Israel had been waiting for a Messiah so long…what if He really did come now?
In the Adventures in Odyssey story, Simeon uses the years to create a special display of carved figures as a gift. This challenged me for my own season of waiting. How am I using the time until Christmas: focused on what I can get for myself or how I can bless others? Half of the fun is in the parties, traditions old and new, and interactions leading to the day. After Christmas, all that is left is Resolutions.
God, thank You for sending Jesus. You had waited a long time to send Him to the world, preparing us to hear through the messages You gave to the prophets. And Jesus came to bring hope for everyone! Thank You for calling people from all walks of life to come adore Him. And please help that to be my focus as I wait for Christmas to come, and for Jesus to come again. Hope is here, You are active here, and that is where my focus must be while I wait. Please help me see ways I can bless people today. Amen.