December 20: Read Luke 2:21-38 NIV

The gospel of Luke mentions two people who have been on a very long journey of waiting for the Messiah to come. Both Simeon and Anna encounter our baby Messiah at the temple. As was custom, Mary and Joseph travel to Jerusalem to give an offering for Jesus’ birth and for ritual cleansing of Mary after childbirth. Led by the Holy Spirit, Simeon is moved to be at the temple when they come. It is highly likely that Simeon is a priest, though scripture doesn’t name him as such, but he performs the rituals of sacrificing the offerings Mary and Joseph bring. It also tells us that Simeon had been waiting faithfully for the Messiah. That long waiting was rewarded with him being able to set eyes on the new Savior and even holding him and speaking words of praise over him.

Not only had Simeon been on a long journey of waiting, but so had another person, Anna. We are told that Anna was a prophetess, which was unusual, but she had been waiting for a LONG time for the “redemption” of Israel. In that waiting she prayed and fasted regularly, as well as visited the temple for worship. She was also rewarded for her faithful waiting by setting her eyes upon Jesus and giving thanks to God for his presence.

Waiting is a huge part of a journey. As much as a journey is the actual movement, it is also about planning and waiting for the right time to move. Yesterday we talked about anticipation and how anticipation can help us to open our hearts more to receiving the gift of Jesus. Waiting is much the same thing. But one of the differences is that waiting creates perseverance, and it calls us to listen more carefully. Both Anna and Simeon served the temple in Jerusalem. They not only believed the promises of God, but they taught others about them. That didn’t mean they had a fast track to what God was doing. They waited with their eyes focused on the Lord for many years before the Lord revealed himself and his plan to them.

As we wait on the Lord we must also focus on listening and worshiping. This is how we will make it through the waiting, and it will enhance our worship. On Christmas Day the waiting is over, the Savior is born, and that waiting we endured will bring about even more depth of worship!

Prayer: Lord, sustain me in the waiting. May I embrace the waiting so that it leads me to deeper worship.

Reflection Questions

Have you heard the saying, “worship while you wait?” That is exactly what Anna and Simeon did. They were waiting for the Messiah and worshiped and believed God for what He said He would do. Not only were they worshiping while they were waiting, but they were serving God in the temple. 

As you wait on something God has promised you, do you worry and doubt or worship and serve while you wait? 

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