Bulbs are planted in the fall but they bear fruit in the spring. For the bulb the winter is a time of waiting and expectation. Everything the bulb needs to burst into vibrant color and celebration is already there but it is not time.
Advent is the same and today the 21st there are only a few more days of waiting and expectation before we celebrate the fulfillment of the prophesies of old that are fulfilled in Jesus’ birth. In the holiday season we often think about the time always being full of joy but it is in this time of waiting that brings even more fullness of joy on Christmas day. There is a consistent theme of waiting which brings rejoicing in God’s story. Sarah with Issac, Hannah with Samuel, Elizabeth with John. Finally all of Isreal with Jesus, the fulfillment of all the Messianic prophesies. Each story is full of longing but each gives way to great rejoicing.
Simeon in Luke 2 is a perfect example of this, old with age the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he would die. Upon seeing Jesus he took him in His arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
Simeon perfectly captures the longing and rejoicing of Advent. He knew that Jesus was more than the king of the Jews, he was the revelation to the Gentiles. He was the fulfillment of the Father’s love story with us.
Four days before we celebrate His birth lets look beyond the 25th. Lets look with eager expectation for His return. Lets sit in the tension that He has already come but we are longing for His full return. Let’s celebrate with a continued sense of longing for the future. Every year as Isreal celebrated Passover they would look back on God’ s provision but it was Simeon that held the constant expectation for God’s revelation of His son. Let us do the same today. Let us sit in this longing of the next four days and truly long for His return at the end of the age. Then as we celebrate Christmas day let us rejoice fully and try to catch a glimpse of that great celebration as we like Simeon will see the fruition of His great plan on that final day.