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.”
Luke 2:25-35 ESV
Our 11-year-old in my house said to me that 2020 is the worst year in his life. Though it is way too soon for an 11-year-old to draw that conclusion, I can see why he would say that. Being separated from friends and not being able to learn in an actual classroom are tough for our children. They want to be active and vibrant, but 2020 has been a year of silence for most of us.
Before the birth of Christ, the Israelites also experienced a long period of silence from God. For 400 years, no new prophecies or revelations were given. Though in silence, the God of all ages is still at work The hope of the coming of the Messiah still shines in the heart of the people who believed. Simeon was one of them. He was an ordinary man, but he made an account in the Bible for being “righteous and devout”, and “waiting for the consolation of Israel”. Though living in a time of silence, the hope of Christ still shines through his life. Years went by, no sounds were heard, and no signs were revealed. But he was still holding on to the faith and hope that he would see Christ the Lord before his death, just as God had promised. Finally, one day, he was invited to the moment he was waiting for all his life – meeting Christ in person! Day by day, moment by moment, he lived and served in the waiting and anticipation of the coming of Christ, and finally, he got to see and embrace Christ, manifested in a little baby born in Bethlehem.
Simeon lived prior to the time of the first coming of Christ. He waited and watched the baby born in the manger. Today, we are waiting for the same Savior who said “it is finished” on the cross; who has ascended to heaven and will come again! He promised a home in heaven for all who believe. In just a little while, when the voice of the archangel shouts, and the trumpet of God sounds, the dead in Christ will rise, and we who are alive, will be taken up to the cloud to reunite with our Lord. He has promised “where I am you may be also” (John 14: 3). We’ll get to meet Christ in His full glory, face to face, embrace Him and bless Him. While many are hoping that 2021 will be a better and brighter year, we know that our hope is not about what the new year may bring. Our hope is in Christ. No matter what tomorrow brings, we can live and serve with the glorious hope that is in Him. He will come, in just a little while.
Dear Lord, you are the light that shines in darkness. No matter what tomorrow brings, I can trust your love and your promises. You never fail to do what you said. You said you will return, and I know you will. May the hope of your return shines in my heart and strengthens my faith to follow you and live for you.