Waiting and Christmas seem to go together. For those of us who absolutely love Christmas, we wait all year long for the season to arrive. Then we wait in line at the store. We wait in line at the post office. We wait in traffic. Some wait in airports for the flight to take them home for the holidays. Others wait for loved ones to arrive. Did you know that on average we will spend six months waiting at stoplights and over five years waiting in lines? That’s a lot of waiting?
The Bible tells about a man who spent most of his life waiting for something. His name was Simeon and he lived in the city of Jerusalem. He was a godly man who lived under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. At some point early on in his life the Spirit promised Simeon he would not die until he had seen with his own eyes the Messiah - Jesus Christ.
So Simeon waited…and he waited…and he waited. The years rolled by as Simeon waited. From youth, through middle age, to old age he waited. Tradition says that by the time we reach Luke 2, Simeon was 113 years old. That’s a long time to wait for anything! But Simeon patiently waited all those years, holding on to the promise that he would see the Christ before he died.
And then came the day when the Spirit directed Simeon to go to the Temple. Can you imagine his excitement after all those years of waiting? Arriving at the Temple Simeon saw a couple approaching with a newborn baby boy. From what happened next it’s obvious the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon his long wait was over. This Child was the Promised One of God. Taking the baby Jesus in his arms, Simeon blessed God saying, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:29-30).
Simeon could die without fear because, at last, he saw the salvation of the Lord. Have you? Can you face eternity without fear because you have had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ?
You’ve heard the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” I guess that’s true if you are waiting for the right thing. Simeon knew what to wait for. He looked forward to and waited for the first coming of Christ. Today we look forward to and wait for His second coming. Waiting for the right thing causes us to live in the right way. It motivates us to live for things that will matter for eternity, rather than just for the next week.
Let’s learn from Simeon - the man who patiently waited on the promise of God. Christmas reminds us that while the wait may be long, the promise of God will not fail. Faith will become sight. The babe in the arms of Simeon is proof!
Pastor Todd Weston