Finally, the awaited Messiah had arrived the Gospel of Luke. This marked the beginning of the transition from the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. As excited as a time as this undoubtedly was, when the dust of birth had settled, the celebration of the angels had diminished, and the shepherds had returned to their home, Joseph and Mary held their baby. Some would have paraded the child in to the city and raised Him as a King. Yet, for the faith of Mary and Joseph, they followed the law and the timing of God. Jesus was to be presented to the temple 40 days after his birth at the appropriate time. As Mary brought her child according to the timing laid down by God, the timing of the situation showed itself to be upheld in the palm of God’s hand.
“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.”
– Luke 2:25-27, NIV
As Mary and Joseph brought Jesus, according to the customs of the law, they were first approached by Simeon. God had promised that he would have the opportunity to see the Savior before he died. In this case, through his daily devotion to His duties, He was there to welcome and receive the Christ child. Furthermore, the prophetess Anna had been daily worshipping in the temple for most of her life. When she saw Jesus, she was filled with a word from the Lord that world shattering events would occur in their due time. From a daily routine trip, living according to the daily commands of God, more was going on that day than any of them could ever have imagine. Each needed to remain faithful during the times of silence in their following God. More than that, the waiting on the timing of the Lord was sufficient for each of them.
Faithfulness During the Silence
For Simeon, he understood that he would see the Savior before he died. This was promised to him long ago. However, until that moment, he was sure to faithfully serve his duties in the temple. The same goes for Anna. It would have been easier to abandon worshipping in the temple and stay home. Yet that was not her calling. Her calling was to be there every day. While the grand promise of God was coming, Simeon and Anna faithfully walked out their faith every day.
The sign and fulfillment of God will come at the timing that God has set and not a moment before. When we experience the times of God’s silence, we must not give us doing what we know to do. There is a temptation to spend our time seeking the burning bush of revelation that we completely ignore the word of God already given. In seeking the future promises of God, do not neglect the living out of your faith in the every day. Pursue God in the daily grind as you seek the fulfillment of His promises in His time.
Sufficiency of the Waiting
Beholding the Savior and resting in the promise of God was enough for Simeon. Furthermore, the prophetess Anna spoke the future for the fate of Jesus and the pain that Mary and others would face. While they saw the future, they were content in their position. There would come a time where the Christ child would no longer be a child but a man. That man would be crucified on a cross for the sins of man. For now, however, each person had there role to play in the story of God in that moment. For Mary and Joseph, they followed the law as a sign of their worship. Simeon, faithfully served in the temple. Anna worshipped day and night.
We can spend so much time dreaming about the things we don’t have to the detriment of the things we do. Every moment is a gift and every gift has the opportunity to be used for the Lord. Gandalf the Gray in JRR Tolkein’s The Fellowship of the Ring put it this way, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” While we may very well be awaiting the fulfillment of the future promises, we still have our daily faith to live out. God will provide us with the vision of the future, yet those visions will never come at the expense of following Him every day. Following God while waiting and trusting Him to see us through displays our faith and trust in the God to follow His word.
Read Luke 2:22-40
- Where do you see the faithfulness of the people displayed in this passage? How do Mary and Joseph, Simeon, and Anna display faithfulness to following God?
- When have you experienced a time of silence from God? What should you do in response to this time of silence?
- Where are you awaiting the promises of God to be fulfilled?
- How is your pursuit of God going in the day to day? What is going well? What could be improved?
- How do you want to challenge yourself to pursue God in the day to day?