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Longing

pexels-pixabay-45848An Advent Devotional on Luke 2:22-38

Today we find the young couple with their son Jesus in the temple fulfilling the stipulations of the law (vs.22-24). Jesus goes unnoticed, except by two individuals, Simeon and Anna.

That both Simeon and Anna encountered Jesus is yet another example of God’s impeccable timing (vs.27,38). The temple was a huge building, surrounded by a courtyard with thousands of people milling around.

Simeon and Anna were older (vs.29,36) but their faith was fresh and vibrant (Ps. 92:14). Simeon was righteous and devout (v.25). And every time the doors of the temple were open you could find the prophetess Anna there, worshiping, fasting, and praying (v.37).

These two saints represented the crème of the crop of the Old Covenant, but they longed for something better. Their hearts yearned for the consolation and redemption of Israel that would center in the Messiah (vs. 25,38). The Holy Spirit promised Simeon that he would not see death before he would see this Messiah (v.26).

At this pivotal moment, their hope is realized. They are not witnessing a military coup to overthrow Rome but hope, wrapped up in the person Simeon now holds. Simeon understood from Scripture that Israel’s hope would spread to the Gentiles as well, like a river overflowing her banks. The excitement jumps off the page (v.38).

The longing of Simeon and Anna for Christ’s coming should be a model for us. Do we eagerly await the glorious return of our Lord (Phil. 3:20)? Do we daydream about the resurrection, glorified bodies, and the new heaven and earth? Let your heart be stirred like theirs and long for Christ’s second Advent.