Summary: Simeon and Anna did not give up hope in God. They have faith in His Word.
What are you longing for? What are you looking for in this life that you’ve yet to find? Are you experiencing an emptiness that you are trying to fill?
• There is nothing wrong with that. All of us has longings.
• Longings for love, for acceptance, for friendship, someone to understand us.
In the midst of all these longings, there is ONE – one particular longing that anchors all these needs – the longing for Jesus.
• Jesus says to the Samaritan woman at the well: “Everyone who drinks [the water that this world offers] will be thirsty again.” (John 4:13)
• “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” (John 4:14)
• Only a relationship with Jesus fulfils us completely. Without Him, something will always be missing.
In his book CONFESSIONS, Augustine says, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in You.”
• Blaise Pascal expresses it this way: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”
• Unless we meet Christ in this life, we will not die in peace. Really. Literally.
Someone in LUKE 2 could not rest in peace, until he sees Jesus! And after he sees Jesus, he tells the Lord he could go.
• We are all seeking fulfilment in life. We are going to learn what it takes to be so fulfilled in life.
• We are going to look at these TWO persons in LUKE 2 and their LONGING for Christmas, literally.
• That Christmas did not happen with fanfare or decorations, no flickering light, no beautiful music or carols. But, what an encounter it was!
[Read Luke 2:22-38]
We read TWO persons waiting for Christmas - SIMEON (a “righteous and devout” man) and ANNA (a prophetess).
• We do not know for how long they have been waiting to see this day. The impression I get is a LONG TIME, because both of them are very aged now.
Simeon is near death - it mentioned that he “would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” (2:26) and after seeing Jesus, he says he can go.
ANNA “was very old” (2:36); 84 years old (2:37) (some translation says, she has been a widow for 84 years).
It might have been a long wait, but… THEY HAVE NOT GIVEN UP HOPE
Things has not been going well for Israel, for centuries.
• They are a conquered nation – over the last 500 years – first the Babylonians, then the Persians, the Greeks and now the Romans, for the last 60 years.
• After the times of the prophets, God has not spoken to the Jewish people for 400 years.
But they have not given up HOPE in God. The Messiah will come. It doesn’t depend on the political landscape, it doesn’t depend on the circumstances they are in.
• Even the silence of God does not mean a thing. It is what the Lord has already said!
• There is hope even in the silence of God because God has already revealed His Word to us! This is our hope – the revealed Word of God!
The people living in darkness WILL see the light, Isaiah prophesied!
• Simeon and Anna waited because they’ve hope in God. They waited because they’ve not lost faith in God.
• The Lord assures SIMEON – Luke 2:25b-27 “…the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts”
• The word SPIRIT appears 3 times in 3 verses. God gives him hope. God assures him with hope. God guides him into the Temple at the right time, to see his hope.
Have you lost your hope in life? Have you lost your faith in God? Get back to hearing what God has said, and is saying!
• We lose faith in God because of harsh experiences and circumstances. We cannot understand our pains and we start to question God.
• When we start to doubt God, faith begins to waver and weaken. We stop talking to Him and distant ourselves, which in turn makes faith weaker and eventually dies.
• The ember is being extinguished by our indifference. It’s a spiralling effect!
We got to arrest this. How? BREAK IT. Take the step of faith and come back to hearing what God says. Reach out to God anyway!
• God wants us to trust Him even when it seems there is not much reason to do so.