“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon…There was also a prophetess, Anna…” Luke 2:25 – 38
My childhood memories of Christmas include a lot of waiting. Of course, there was waiting for the time when I could open my presents and, waiting for everyone else to finish opening their presents so I could start playing with my new toys. As I got older, there was waiting to watch others as they opened the gifts I had prepared for them. There was waiting to be old enough to go with my grandmother to the 6:00 am Swedish Julotta service and more waiting to be old enough to go with the adults to the Episcopal 11:00 pm Christmas Eve service (one of our few concessions to my father’s Anglican roots). There was waiting for the freezing rain to thaw so it was safe for us to leave home, driving to celebrate Christmas with family, sometimes several days later. There was waiting for our Christmas Eve smorgasbord, when we could finally taste those once-a-year cookies and breads that had been lovingly baked but hidden from sight.
Each Advent we participate in the discipline of waiting. This training helps us become better at the inevitable waiting that is so much a part of the lives of Christians……waiting for God to work his will in our lives and in the lives of those we love….waiting for faith to be strengthened…..waiting for the moment when we join our Savior in heaven, where there will be no pain or weeping.
Lord, help me to be like Simeon, waiting patiently for your perfect timing. As I wait, help me be like Anna, active in the work of your kingdom through worship, fasting and prayer. Amen.