These words of Simeon, the prophet, speak of a long-awaited fulfilment of expectation that the Jewish people lived with. They knew of the coming of a rescuer, someone to save Israel and they had a pre-conceived idea of what that was to look like. They did not expect a baby conceived out of wedlock and hidden away in Egypt for the first few months of his life. When Mary and Joseph came to present Jesus at the temple, Simeon was led by the Sprit to meet them there and he knew exactly who this baby was.
Equally, there was Anna here too, another prophet who recognised the baby as Messiah, their Saviour. Verse 38 says, “She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem” (NLT).
How many listened to Simeon or Anna that day? How many responded to Simeon’s heart cry or Anna’s excitable words? How many just thought they were eccentric, weird or even crazy?
Yet, for Mary and Joseph they were words that would stand the test of time. Mary treasured them in her heart, and they must have come thundering back to her when she would watch her son die on the cross.
I wonder how many times we hear the voice of God speaking and discard it because it doesn’t make sense. It isn’t how we think it should be. It doesn’t meet our expectation, nor does it make rational sense.
As we look to the first arrival of Jesus here on earth, may we not be complacent about hearing the voice of God speaking. Let us not limit His speaking to what we are willing to hear but let us open our hearts to listen intently for what He wants to say and how He wants to say it.
Prayer: Immanuel, God with us. You came here to earth as a baby, not as the mighty rescuer people expected. Help me to hear Your voice in these coming days, not for what I expect to hear, but for what You want to say. Amen.
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