Christmas Hope… For Those Who Wait

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There are two characters in the Christmas Story who are often overlooked, but who have a fascinating part to play in the story.

I’m talking about Simeon and Anna.

Two elderly people – devout Jews –  who spent much of their time in the Temple, and who were both waiting for the Messiah to come.

The thing I find fascinating about Simeon and Anna is the way their waiting is described.  Simeon was “eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel,”  (Luke 2:25 NLT) while Anna “never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshipping God with fasting and prayer.”  (Luke 2:37  NLT)

It’s remarkable: the Jews had been waiting for hundreds of years for their rescuer to come.  For the last four hundred years, until the angel had appeared to Zechariah, there had been no indication that God had remembered his promise at all.  No prophets speaking, no sign of God acting.  Simeon and Anna had been waiting their whole lives, and yet they still maintained their eagerness and expectancy!

I don’t know about you but I find waiting hard, especially in situations where I have no idea how long the wait will be.  My waiting can be eager and expectant for a while, but it too quickly turns to doubt and frustration if the wait is longer than I had hoped.

Simeon and Anna challenge me to wait well:

  • To remember God’s promises – Simeon knew that God had promised that the Messiah would come, and he believed.  He would have known from the Old Testament stories of people like Abraham and Moses that God is a faithful God who always keeps his promises – maybe not always in our timing, but he always does what he says he will do.
  • To worship in the wait – It’s easy for the object of our wait to become our focus, but Anna and Simeon kept their focus on God and on worshipping him.  It was an act of trust to praise God even in the midst of unfulfilled longings, but it helped them to wait well and prepared them for what was to come.
  • To be open to what God is doing – I don’t know what Simeon and Anna’s expectations were.  Did they think the Messiah would come as a baby or did they expect something more spectacular?  Either way, they were ready.  Simeon was led to the Temple that day by the Holy Spirit, and it seemed to be a case of instant recognition for both him and Anna.  Somehow they knew that the tiny baby before them was not just an ordinary baby but the long-awaited Messiah, and their response was praise.

I don’t know what you’re waiting for this Christmas: fulfilment of a dream, resolution in a situation, that day when Jesus will return to put everything right…

But I do know that God is faithful to his promises.

What he says, he will do, and we can trust him in the wait.

“This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed.”
(Habakkuk 2:3 NLT)

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”  (Galatians 6:9 NLT)

Join me on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout Advent for more Christmas Hope!  Links to all the posts in the series can be found here.

Christmas Hope...
For Those Who Wait

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18 thoughts on “Christmas Hope… For Those Who Wait

  1. This brings tears to my eyes, Lesley, and encourages me to wait patiently for God’s timing and to trust that He will yet fulfill those unfulfilled longings. To praise Him in spite of the ache. The verse in Habakkuk has held special meaning for me in the past, and I’m so glad God brought it to my attention again through you. Thank you so, so much! Yes, come Jesus and make our hearts Your home! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Trudy! I’m glad you were encouraged by the reminder of the verse from Habakkuk. It is encouraging to remember that God’s timing is perfect even when it is different from ours. Love and hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is not easy to be like Simeon and Anna. It is not easy to wait. But the words from Galatians “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good”, speak to me. Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Lesley, for throwing the spotlight on these blessed waiters.
    Waiting is my downfall, and maybe that’s why these 2 have captured my attention every Christmas along with Elisabeth and Zacharias.
    Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so meaningful to me as I’m in a season of waiting that has left me heartbroken. clinging to God’s promises and longing for eternity. Your words are like a warm hug for my weary soul. I’m copying the verses you shared into my journal right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Aimee. I’m so glad it encouraged you and that you let me know. Praying that you know God with you in the wait and that you know hope and peace in him this Christmas!

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  5. I’m so thankful you highlighted these two stalwarts of waiting well and for your insightful points. Remembering God is faithful to his promises, being intentional to worship in the wait, and opening my heart to see what God is doing, even when it doesn’t look like I expect, are really crucial for me this Christmas. God knew I needed to read this. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing these lessons from Simeon and Anna, and linking up with the Grace and Truth Link-Up. Sometimes it can be hard to be patient while we are waiting, but I love the reminder that God is always faithful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for reminding us to be patient as we wait. And while waiting to worship, to be open and to remember God’s blessings. Simeon and Anna are good examples for us. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #Grace&Truth.

    Liked by 1 person

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