Google+ 12/28/12 Eagerly Waiting!

Luke 2:25-26a

 

 

At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon.

He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel.

The Holy Spirit was upon him  and had revealed to him

That he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. 

 

For the next couple of days, we are going to explore a very interesting couple.  One of the themes that runs through the Bible is very uplifting for me.  God seems to always use people who are very ordinary to complete His major tasks.  God never chose royalty, or particularly "holy" folks for these major tasks.  God chose people that were struggling with their life circumstances, but were devote, religious and eagerly waiting on God and Jesus.  Look at Abraham, Noah, Lot, and Paul to name a few!  In today's lesson, an ordinary family is chosen by God in a very special way.  Simeon and Anna are absolutely nobody.  They are a devout couple that happens to be in the temple at the same time that Joseph and Mary come to dedicate Jesus.  We will discover this was no accident.  They appear to be people in the congregation, just being themselves.  While Simeon is not waiting to die, it is clear that he is of advanced years and has lived the fullness of life.  The Bible says that "The Holy Spirit was upon him."  There are several places in the Old Testament that speak of the Holy Spirit coming upon the prophets.  It is not that this concept is completely foreign to us prior to the day of Pentecost.  What is unique, is that the Holy Spirit has come upon Simeon, who appears to be just like you and me.  His divine calling seems to encompass being a devote man!  How refreshing is that?  The Holy Spirit has led this couple to the temple prior to Jesus' arriving so that they are present when the Christ Child is dedicated to God. According to Jewish law and custom, this would have been a very sacred time.  The Bible does not say that the shepherds were there.  They had gone back to tending their sheep.  There was no processional from Bethlehem to Jerusalem.  No angels, prophecies, or stars announcing this event.  No one fell into a deep sleep to discover God's will.  No, just a nice, older couple coming to the temple because they were filled with the Holy Spirit.   Now don't miss this point.  Why did the Holy Spirit come upon them?  The Scripture says because Simeon was devote, religious, and eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel.  Simeon and Anna were not sitting at the "Jerusalem Diner" talking about how awful life was and how oppressed they were by government.  That seems to be a very popular topic in today's society.  Rather, they were in the temple enthusiastically praying when Jesus arrived with Mary and Joseph.  They were still doing everything earthly they had been called to do, but they were eager for their "Jesus future."  So today, may God find you eagerly waiting for Jesus' return.  Might God find you in the temple praying.  May the Holy Spirit continue to dwell in your heart.  Tomorrow, we will discover what is in store for Simeon and Anna and how they greet their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  But that is tomorrow.  Like this wonderful couple, I am going to be a "somebody" for Jesus today and "eagerly wait" in the temple!