As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God, however that may take place.
Luke 2:25-38 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
We wait for traffic so we can safely cross the road. We wait for others to return a phone call. We wait for our turn in the checkout line. It seems as though there’s a lot of waiting in our lives. How many of us find joy in our waiting?
Simeon and Anna knew what it was like to wait. They each waited for a promise to be fulfilled. But, in the midst of the waiting, there was joyful expectation. Simeon was “looking forward to the consolation of Israel.” (Luke 2: 25). This was also an active time of waiting, not passive waiting. Anna “worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day.” (Luke 2: 37). We may find ourselves waiting for many things, maybe even an answer to prayer. But in the midst of the waiting we can find the presence of God through the Holy Spirit (Luke 2: 25). While we wait, we can continue to listen and respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit. With God’s presence, we can emerge on the other side of our waiting, experiencing all that God has planned for us.
Lord God, we admit that waiting is sometimes very difficult. We want immediate answers and action. Thank you that you wait with us, knowing that your purposes can be fulfilled through the wait. Help us to patiently experience our times of waiting. Amen.
Go with God!