Being Faithful and Watchful for the Lord to Come
Do you look forward to Christmas with anticipation?
In our home, the day after Thanksgiving, we begin decorating the house and listening to Christmas carols.
Soon, we’re attending concerts and parties with friends and watching favorite Christmas movies. We love attending a Christmas Eve service and celebrating with all our family traditions for Christmas day.
The Example of Simeon and Anna
Over 2,000 years ago, some people in Israel were also waiting for the coming of the Messiah with great anticipation. Malachi was the last prophet of the Old Testament. At the end of his message, he prophesied that Elijah would come before the day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5-6). And then for over 400 years the Lord was silent.
Luke 2:22-38 tells us about Simeon and Anna, who were waiting for the Messiah. God rewarded them for their faithfulness and belief that He would fulfill His promises of a savior.
The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he saw the “consolation of Israel” (see Isaiah 40, referring to the Messiah). On the eighth day after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph came to Jerusalem to dedicate Him to the Lord. They entered the Temple to give an offering as prescribed in Exodus 13:1. The Holy Spirit prompted Simeon to go to the Temple on this very day and lead him to this young couple with their baby boy. In verses 29-32, taking the baby Jesus in his arms, Simeon offered praise to God for fulfilling His promise. He also proclaimed that the salvation given through Christ is both for the Gentiles and the nation of Israel.
Anna, a widow, was also at the Temple that day. For over 60 years she spent every day at the Temple in prayer and fasting. Her faithfulness was rewarded when she heard Simeon’s proclamation. She also saw the coming of the Savior and told everyone about it.
We Should Be Faithful and Watchful for the Lord’s Second Coming
The example of Simeon and Anna should encourage us to be faithful and watchful and filled with anticipation for the Lord’s Second Coming. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us that a trumpet will sound along with a command from Heaven. When we least expect it, the Lord will descend for His church (both those believers who are alive as well as those who have preceded them in death).
At the end of the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:8, the Lord asks the question: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” All believers around the world need to be diligent in the work He has called us to, so that when the Lord returns there will be a great community of faith looking in anticipation for His return. Thank you for partnering with us in building God’s kingdom!
“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:44 (ESV)