They church was working through a short Christmas series titled, Celebrate. Week one was, Celebrate with others. Week two, Celebrate with Song. Week three, Celebrate with Gifts. Christmas Eve was titled, Celebrate with Us. Week four, the week that I preached was titled, Celebrate with Waiting. It was a good series. I'll leave links below to the other four messages.
A couple of weeks prior, I sat down to pray and consider what God might want me to preach on. I read through the birth narrative found in the gospel of Luke. Since I would be preaching on the day after Christmas, I looked towards at Luke 2:22-38. It was the accounts of Simeon and Anna, meeting Jesus in the temple as Mary and Joseph brought their son to fulfill the requirements of the Law.
As I studied the passage, I was stuck by the faithfulness in Simeon's waiting, and his response when he finally held the baby in his arms. Simeon was a man who clung to God's promise of a redeemer. He knew what God had said through the prophets, and he trusted God. But Simeon trusted God at a time when God seemed silent. 400 plus years of violence, oppression and destruction. When it seemed the most hopeless, Simeon continued to trust God and wait.
Imagine living in a time and place where you were constantly under the thumb of a godless nation, and all you had was a promise of rescue by a God who was now silent.
But you wait. You wait because you believe. You believe that God will do what he said he would do. Your hope isn't a question of maybe. Your hope is a confidence that it will happen. Simeon believed. He hope was in the one true God. So, he waited.
WATCH JAY'S MESSAGE
As we begin this new year, what are we waiting for? Are we living like the wait is worth it?
The promise is this, Jesus said, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." (John 14:3 ESV)
Do you believe that? Are you waiting for it. And if we are, are we living like the wait is worth it?
And as we wait, we live out the calling that Jesus has put on our lives. The calling to love God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. To Love our neighbors as ourself. To go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Live like the wait is worth it.
Let's celebrate with waiting.
WATCH THE CELEBRATE SERIES