Monday, December 24, 2018

Advent Words: Y is for Yearn

Y is for Yearn

Simeon is one of my favorite people in Luke's Christmas story. Luke paints the picture of an elderly man who has spent his life yearning. He has spent his life longing and looking and hoping for God to bring His promised Messiah. Simeon only appears here in Luke, so very little is known about him. But what is known is significant. Luke says that Simeon was righteous and devout, descriptions of his faith and character. He knew the promises of God and was Spirit filled, for he was able to recognize who this baby Jesus really was.

Luke says that Simeon was yearning for God to fulfill His promise; he was "waiting for the consolation of Israel" (2:25). The consolation of Israel is the promise of comfort God would show His people in sending the Messiah to free them from their sins, as prophesied in Isaiah 40:1-2. He lived in expectation and hope because he believed that what God promised, He would do. Simeon's story shows us the result of yearning and looking and hoping for God's promises. As Steven Cole says,
"Those who hope in God's promises in Christ will be rewarded"
Simeon's yearning was rewarded in seeing the Christ child in the temple. The Spirit of God revealed to Simeon that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Simeon takes the baby in his arms and praises 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.” Luke 2:29-32

Not only could Simeon see that Jesus was the consolation of Israel, but that He would also be salvation and light for the Gentiles as well. Another promise made by God through Isaiah:
"...and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God." Isaiah 52:10
"...The glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind will see it." Isaiah 40:5
"...I will keep you and make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles." Isaiah 42:6

Simeon's story is an encouragement to those of us who follow Christ today to look and hope and yearn for the promise of Christ's second coming.
"So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Hebrews 9:28

"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."     2 Timothy 4:8

"Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming." 1 Peter 1:13

Share your creative response to the Advent Words challenge in our private Facebook group  Join here:

If you belong to the Everyday Journal group that I co-lead with Valerie Sjodin and Bernice Hopper, Advent Words will be our theme for December.

Share on Instagram and other social media with the hashtag #adventwords2018.

Check out my Pinterest board for this challenge and see some of the wonderful and diverse creativity of Advent Words 2018 participants.

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