Scripture Reading: Luke 2:25-26 (New International Version)
“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 upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”
Thought for the day:
In America, and a few other locations there is a holiday called Groundhog Day. Its origins can be tracked back to a European event called Candlemas but for me the 90s film “Groundhog Day” is the reason I’m aware of this holiday. While no expert on this subject, from what I’ve read, it seems that people watch a groundhog come out of his burrow. The groundhog will either stay out of his burrow or immediately return to it. The folklore states that if he sees his shadow, he will rush back into his burrow and this indicates that Winter will persist for another 6 weeks. If he stays out, it is because the weather is turning milder and therefore Spring will arrive early! This event is eagerly anticipated and there are many, many people who hold early morning celebrations on February 2nd. The largest of these events is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where more than 40,000 people gather on this day to wait for the groundhog to appear.
In our verse today we read of someone waiting patiently for something to happen. Simeon had been ‘told’ by God that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah. I’ve no idea how he’d been told this but Simeon means ‘one who hears’. Perhaps if we have an attitude of continually listening to what God is saying to us, we’ll be amazed at what He reveals. The scripture uses a very interesting phrase here ‘The Consolation of Israel’. This is used specifically by Rabbis in reference to the Messiah, the Anointed One and here, God’s Spirit is clear in what is being communicated. Jesus is the Messiah! At its root meaning, it means comforter. Simeon had waited a lifetime for this moment. I guess that every day, he would go to the temple and just like those people waiting for the groundhog, Simeon would wait for a child to arrive at the temple. In huge contrast though, the appearing of Jesus wouldn’t herald in an early Spring, He would bring an eternal hope. He was the beginning of a new covenant between God and man. He would bring light to the darkness, He would bring deliverance to the captive and would set free all those who are bound. He was to show us the way back to the Father. In fact, He IS the way. He’s the truth and the life. 40000 people wait to see a groundhog. One man waited for Jesus. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. On Monday, we’ll see a little more of what it meant to Simeon.
Prayer and Application:
Has God revealed to you that He’s going to do something in your life? Use Simeon’s example of patient expectation and this morning, pray in faith believing that God will bring it to pass.