Advent Anticipation

Dec 2, 2014.

Please read Luke chapter 2.

The Advent is about anticipation of the coming Messiah, the anointed Redeemer. Since the Old Testament prophets announced time and again the coming of the Messiah, the Jewish people looked forward to their Savior with great anticipation. In the birth narrative of evangelist Luke, soon after the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, chapter 2 describes that Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, which as just a few miles away. At the Temple they held one of the most significant events in the life of baby Jesus, i.e., his circumcision when he was just eight days old (Luke 2: 22-38). At the same time, the Spirit of the Lord guided an elderly “righteous and devout man,” Simeon, to come out and meet with baby Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem. Luke emphatically states that Simeon “was waiting for the consolation of Israel, which means he was eagerly anticipating the Messiah. The Lord had granted him that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah with his own eyes. So, imagine the joy on his face when Simeon finally got to not only see but hold the long-expected Messiah in his hands! He was so happy that he burst out singing, as Luke (2: 29-32) has recorded for us:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

Beside Simeon, there was a prophetess, Anna, too, who spent most of her last years worshipping God in the Temple. She too was led by the Spirit of God to come and see baby Jesus “at that very moment” (Luke 2: 38). I can imagine her joy to finally see the Messiah with her own eyes for whom she has been praying for so long. That’s why “she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2: 38). I’m sure there were others too in Israel who eagerly awaited the Messiah, praying, fasting and preparing their hearts for the promise of God to be fulfilled in their life time. That’s why there were hundreds of Jewish people who readily left everything and followed Jesus Christ as soon as he began his earthly ministry.

Today, as we prepare for the Advent, the Second Coming of our Lord, we need to be people of anticipation. We need to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls, i.e., our lives, for the coming back of our Redeemer as the reigning King to establish his Kingdom. Like Simeon and Anna, we should not only eagerly anticipate but also proclaim to those who are yet to hear of his first coming. Do you live in anticipation of the coming of the Lord? What are you doing to proclaim his birth to those who have never heard of him?

Come Lord Jesus!

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