December 3, 2022 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Luke 2:25-32
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
Jesus has arrived but this Advent would lead to another Advent. Simeon is unique to us in the sense that we will never know what it’s like to hold the Creator in our arms. But we are the same in that we all wait for the nations and Israel to be one corporate body and behold his glory. Until he arrives with that kind of presence, we wait.
Simeon teaches us today two lessons that anxious hearts tend to forget: Advent is about learning to wait well in the silence between promise and realization. And that Advent gives way to more Advent. But Simeone also demonstrates the posture while waiting: he went into the temple courts.
Simeon went to where God was as he understood during his time. We know today because of Jesus’ incarnation that God will extend beyond buildings made with hands and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Acts 7:48; Hebrews 11:6). The posture is not to be in the right place as much as it is to be looking for Him. We wait, looking faithfully at what is before us, as though God could arrive with the answer to our questions.
The reward for Simeon’s waiting was to see what God promised and also to await another Advent. God’s promises fulfilled always seem to exceed what we could ever imagine asking for (Ephesians 3:6, 20). Simeon’s waiting leads to promised sight for all of us: You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles. He is not just coming to resolve the discord in Israel but as the songwriter says “He comes to make the nations prove the glories of his righteousness.”
All of these promises are reflected in the arrival of the child Jesus in Simeon’s arms. Jesus has arrived but this Advent would lead to another Advent. Simeon is unique to us in the sense that we will never know what it’s like to hold the Creator in our arms. But we are the same in that we all wait for the nations and Israel to be one corporate body and behold his glory. Until he arrives with that kind of presence, we wait.
What types of words does Simeon use to describe God and what he has done?
As you prepare to celebrate Christmas, think about your waiting posture. Where do you spend the bulk of your time awake? Have you looked for God in that place? What might waiting to see how God is present in those areas look like?
Teach me, God, how to wait without becoming disconsolate. You are Lord over our schedule and accomplishment and completion. There is no “complete” or “whole” without you. Where I become anxious, remind me of your complete narrative in Scripture testifying to promise, arrival, fulfillment and promise—and then more waiting for your arrival. Until you come, Lord, make us work faithfully while all of our eyes look to see your glory again. Amen.
Banner image by Mohammad Mahdi Samei on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: A Light to the Nations.
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DeLano J. Sheffield is the Business Resource Specialist for Goodwill of MoKan where he connects to people on the fringes, training them to reach their full potential through learning and the power of work; he also is on the frontlines of the advances of the fourth industrial revolution and coaches leaders on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. He began his career as an architectural engineer then went on to attend seminary. In every part of his life he finds ways to infuse theology into vocation, and strengthen practical connections of faith and daily activity. DeLano lives in Kansas City, Missouri.