December 29, 2021 - Waiting! - A Reflection on Luke 2:22-35

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” 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. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Simeon was a righteous and devout man. The Holy Spirit had told him that he would not die before he saw the Messiah. We don’t know when he was told this, but I am assuming it was many years before Jesus was born. And what joy for him to finally behold the promised Messiah. His waiting had paid off. Now we are not very good at waiting, especially when we have these extended periods of darkness, like we are in a tunnel and there is no end in sight.

If you are going through this now, I just want to leave you with a few Scriptural verses that may help. I know they help me when I go through such times. One: Don’t trust in your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Two: Put your hope in God’s word. Psalms 130:5 says, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” The word of God will not disappoint us because God keeps his word. Three: Know that God is hearing you. Sometimes it seems like he’s deaf to our cries, but he isn’t. Have the confidence of Micah, who declared, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me”. That’s Micah 7:7.

Four: Wait with expectant hope. It’s like the expectation of a pregnant woman. It’s a nine-month wait for her baby to be born, but she knows that she will soon have the joy of holding a new born in her hands. So cry with the psalmist: “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” That’s Psalms 5:3.

Finally, just know that God will take you through. Remember the words of the psalmist: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Amen.