Simeon and Anna
My church sponsors a devotional ministry. The members write weekly devotionals all throughout the year, and then in Advent and Lent, we write daily devotionals. These are emailed to about 225 people. In Advent (through Epiphany) we publish an Advent Devotional booklet. I coordinate the ministry, and am blessed to hear how many times people forward the emails and how it has touched people -- people we don't even know.
I wrote the devotional for tomorrow, so I thought I would do a little advertisement on the blog and point you to the web site for the devotionals (www.jmadvent.blogspot.com for the advent to epiphany devotionals, http://www.jmlent.blogspot.com/ for the Lenten devotionals, and www.jmdevotional.blogspot.com for the weekly ones.
Instant hot chocolate. Fax machines. Email. McDonalds. Remote controls. Jets. Federal Express – when it’s got to be there overnight.
We are a society that has grown accustomed to instant results – results that are in our control and are established according to our own time tables.
I was in a conference in November. One of the topics of conversation was the utility of email as a communication tool. The facilitator of the class warned that while email could be useful, we should be careful, because it could create difficult to meet expectations. If you email me, you might be waiting for an answer to arrive within an hour of two.
Consider the stories of Anna and Simeon as recorded in Luke 2:22-38. Simeon had been waiting in expectation of seeing the Lord’s Messiah. We are not told how long the wait had been, but I imagine that it was long and difficult. He waited and waited and waited until finally a young couple arrived in the temple with their infant son. His waiting had finally been rewarded; he was a witness to the Christ.
There was also a widow, Anna, living in the temple as a widow of 84 years old – quite old for her time in history. She spent her time in fasting and prayer, but when Jesus and his parents arrived at the temple, she was drawn to see them. Her life of waiting had been interrupted by a moment of worship and praise.
Anna and Simeon could not control the timing of what happened. They certainly did not see instant results to their prayers. What they did find, though, was the light of the world – the salvation of the gentiles. Their lives were changed by what they witnessed.
Can we do the same as Simeon and Anna? Can we give up our desire for control and instant results and learn to trust God? If we did, can we even begin to imagine the transformation that would occur in our lives when we witnessed the Christ?