I love Christmas, like most people Christmas is about family, food, fun, presents and maybe a little Christ. Over the years my perspective on Christmas has changed a lot, as much as I love celebrating the birth of Christ I also enjoy reflecting the events that surrounded the coming of the Christ.
Every year there is a new piece of the story to discover, something new to learn that I might have missed before. And every year I look forward to marveling at how God planned the coming of the Christ!
In Genesis God promised that he will send someone who would crush the head of the serpent, someone who would deliver Israel from their burdens. God promised Abraham that from His offspring a messiah would come. God promised a man who was in his old age and had a barren wife that through his offspring he would save the world. Crazy stuff right? But this man, was crazy enough to have faith because He knew God. He knew that “He is not man to lie”, and so he trusted in him even if he did not live long enough to see the messiah.
And as time went by, God continued to speak through the prophets about this messiah who would come. Prophecies were told about him, and the people waited for him although they often lost sight of his coming. Around 430 B.C a prophet spoke of the messiah and warned people to turn from their sins. After this, there wasn’t another prophecy or word from Lord. For 400 years, there was utter silence from God. Can you imagine that?
Can you imagine waiting on a promise that was made years, decades and generations before you or your parents were born. Imagine being expected to wait for someone who your grandparents died waiting for. Israel, like most of us would, lost faith in the promise of God. They did not prepare for him as they were meant to during the 400 years.
But in the midst of the disobedience, a few people were there waiting with hope for a messiah! These people knew that the one who promised them this Christ was a faithful God. They knew that 400 years to him was nothing because a thousand days are like a single day.
The bible mentions a man named Simeon, who waited with a promise from God that he would not see death until the messiah had come. Simeon was a priest, he was at the temple of the Lord serving him, he was a righteous and devout man. And finally in his old age, God shows his trustworthiness and he meets the Christ (and probably dies after that).
With him at the temple was the Prophetess Anna, she was praying with fasting day and night as she waited for the messiah. God blessed her faithfulness by showing her the messiah in the form of Baby Jesus.
Just as the Israelites we Christians are in a period of waiting for the greatest event to happen after the coming of the messiah and that is his second coming. We have been waiting ever since we believed, that he is coming again.. Soon. My prayer is that as Christians we should not grow weary in waiting for God. But rather we must adopt the attitude of Simeon and Anna, waiting actively for the Lord serving and being with him as we wait. And above everything, that we would hold fast to his promises, regardless of what the world says because we know who gave this promise.