Waiting | Blog | Mount Carmel Christian Church

Waiting

December 21, 2017 | Didi Bacon

This past Sunday we talked about a person that we don't usually mention in our nativity stories. We talked about Simeon. The text in Luke tells us:

Luke 2:25-33 NIV

“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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 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.The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.”

What do we know about Simeon? Simeon was righteous and devout. He dedicated his life to God. He was consistently faithful in following God’s Word. Simeon also had a burden. He was waiting. Through the Holy Spirit God had promised him that he would not die until he saw with his very own eyes the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel - the coming of the Messiah. I love that phrase "the consolation of Israel"  which means the comfort or encouragement of Israel. Jesus would be the comfort of those who were waiting for God to fulfill his promises. Comfort and encouragement of folks like Simeon. The birth of Jesus confirmed that God is faithful.

Christmas means that God blesses the faithful - like Simeon. Like you and me who are living our days by faith - also waiting for God to fulfill his promises. We who are Jesus followers wait for the 2nd coming of Jesus. We wait for the resurrection of the dead. The judgement of all mankind. The completion of the promise of eternity where there will be no tears, no pain, no waiting! We wait day by day on the Lord. This is living by faith.
Preacher Keith Mannes tells the story of his wife's aunt Gladys who had a little apple orchard at her home. One year when Keith and his family paid her a visit, he couldn't help but notice the huge harvest of apples. The branches hung heavy, and some were cracking with the weight of abundance. Never, in many years, had anyone seen such a harvest.

When Keith asked aunt Gladys why, she told him that last year there was a late frost in the spring, and all the buds froze. When that happens, Gladys said, an apple tree does a miraculous thing: It stores up its energy in thousands of small bumps, or nodules, called scions. All that energy pulsates through that network of scions until the spring of the following year, and then, BAM! You have an exploding riot of buds, as an apple tree unleashes all that stored up energy.

This is how living by faith in Jesus works too. We go through seasons of waiting, the harsh frosts of this life, cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, trauma, grief, depression, loneliness, disappointment, frustration cause our hearts to freeze. But at the core of the Christian faith we also live with an incredible promise: in and through Christ, there will be an abundant harvest in our lives. God's power is pulsating under the gnarly bark of this world and even our bodies. In Christ, we are being formed into a small nodule of living hope. During certain seasons of our life we feel our hearts waiting, longing, and even aching for those frozen places to burst into life. Our living hope is that one day, all of this stored up glory will be unleashed in a joyful riot of splendor. This is living by faith. 

O come, all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him
Born the King of Angels!
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

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