May 11, 2016

Waiting for the Messiah

Luke 2:21-35

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation.”

—  Luke 2:29-30

Aged Simeon came daily to the temple and waited. The Holy Spirit had told him “he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” Lots of baby boys came his way, but none was the Messiah. So he waited for God to keep his promise. 

How likely was it that Jesus’ parents and this old man would meet in a 35-acre temple complex? That wasn’t a problem for the Holy Spirit, who guided a holy encounter between them. Perhaps as Mary cradled the baby Jesus in her arms, Simeon’s heart began to leap as baby John had done in Elizabeth’s womb. “Moved by the Spirit,” Simeon approached the couple with sheer joy, and as he reached out with his arms, Mary handed her miracle child to the miracle senior citizen. All those years of waiting were not wasted time. The fulfillment of history lay living and breathing in his shaky arms.

Waiting is never wasted in God’s eyes. We live in a world addicted to having everything happen “right now.” We rush to the next new movie, book, or gadget to enrich our lives. But Simeon understood the one thing that can change our life for the better. He knew these Old Testament words: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). 

The gift named Jesus is worth waiting for.

Lord, calm my anxious heart and the urgent demand for quick results. Help me to wait on you, trusting that your timing is perfect. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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