My special guest this afternoon was Brently Owen, the youngest of my grandsons, who will turn three on March 3rd. He had to be awakened from a nap and separated from his cousins, Sarah and Natalie, because they had an appointment with the Pediatrician. Bo, as we call him, was not happy and cried for quite awhile as we sat and rocked. As he cried I talked; telling him that he was safe and loved and that his mommy would pick him up as soon as she could.
After about 15 minutes the tears and pitiful little sobs came to an end. In silence we continued to rock and I expected Bo to go to sleep as he was very still and seemed to have his eyes closed. It’s wonderful to hold a child and think about all the promise and hope that life represents.
All morning my thoughts had been focused on Luke’s account of Mary and Joseph presenting Jesus at the Temple (Luke 2:21-40). These verses feature two of my favorite characters in the Christmas story: Simeon and Anna.
As I rocked Bo, I wondered what it must have been like for Simeon to catch a glimpse of a baby, and through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, instantly know this is the long awaited Messiah! Can we even begin to imagine the emotions Simeon must’ve experienced?
We don’t know if Joseph and Mary hesitated when Simeon reached out to take the baby in his arms, but we can hear the excitement in the words Luke records for us as this respected, righteous and devout man praises God. He recognizes the baby as the promised, anticipated salvation; a God-revealing Light for all people. He holds a child and understands potential.
We don’t know if Simeon spoke in hushed tones or in a loud voice; there is no record of people crowding around but we do know that Anna, when she showed up, started singing praise to God! That would be hard to ignore.
Imagine Joseph and Mary – they’ve already had angel visitors – taking this all in; wondering, believing, hoping, trusting, fearing . . .
Bo didn’t go to sleep and soon we were on the floor playing and laughing but part of my mind was still wondering about Simeon and Anna.
I want Bo, and all my grandchildren, to grow up knowing adults, including me, who are living in “prayerful expectancy” of Jesus. He has come to bring us salvation; His rule and authority in our lives should show in every detail. Our faithfulness and worship of the one and only God and our anticipation of His return should be obvious to all.
This Christmas I pray that we would be prayerfully expectant. Christ has come. The promise is fulfilled. The hope of the nations and all people is the God-revealing Light for the whole world.