I love the Christmas season.
It always fills me with memories of snow, food, family and presents…
Like when I was 7 and I asked my dad for an air hockey table. I remember the euphoria I felt when I was able to open the box and play some puck with my dad.
The past few years as I’ve become a husband and a father, my joy and anticipation has shifted a bit. Instead of anticipating what I will be getting, I now am ecstatic to think of the look on my wife and son’s faces as they open their gifts on Christmas.
There is still one gift though that I get all the feels for every year around this time and that is the celebration of the brith of Jesus.
The coming of the Christ child is part of two of the greatest miracles ever recorded in our history. (A virgin being pregnant and God raising a dead man are pretty sweet things to have happened.)
And when I read the Gospel of Luke I love what I find in chapter 2. We meet two people in this passage, Simeon and Anna.
Simeon was a man late in his life, who was promised by God that he would get to see the Messiah before he dies. We find Simeon worshipping God at the Temple as was his routine. He did this everyday. (Everyday? Some of us have a hard time going to church once a week!)
And here he is in the midst of worshipping the Lord in the temple when he sees God’s promised Messiah…
Can you imagine Simeon’s joy and excitement?
I love how Luke pen’s the emotional response perfectly when he writes that “Simeon took the child Jesus into his arms and praised God.”(v 28)
Anna was also of old age. She was a widow and a prophet. She was married for 7 years when her husband died. She was now 84. We don’t know how young she was when she got married but during this time period it wasn’t out of the question to assume that she would have been married as early as 15 years old.
Can you imagine being a widow for 62 years?
This was Anna’s reality.
But instead of Anna being angry at God and turning away from Him, she drew near to God and as Luke writes “she stayed in the Temple, day and night, worshipping God with fasting and prayer” (v37).
I wish I had that type of discipline.
Luke writes that when “Anna saw the child, she went and spoke to everyone who was waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.” (v38)
Simeon and Anna looked at the Messiah who was a helpless little infant, with complete Joy.
And with that joy we need to understand that their lives weren’t easy living at this point. We must keep in mind that Rome was in charge of everything and that the Israelites had been in captivity and that God was silent towards them for generations.
God. Was. Silent…
Let that sink in.
So you can imagine how they must have felt as a people who had been waiting for God to restore them for hundreds of years, and to finally see the Messiah.
Imagine for a second if we spent every day living our lives with that same anticipation and expectation?
Expecting God to show up in not only the big things, but also in the little things.
Just like he did when he showed up as a helpless little infant, who impacted and changed the world of those around him right from jump.
My prayer is that we would have that same anticipation and expectation during this advent season that we had as children expectant of our parents and Santa getting us the things that we wanted most.