"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How many days 'til...

photo source

They count each and every day 'till Christmas.

My children love Christmas!!  They wake up waiting, counting, and anticipating the "arrival" of December 25th.

We are told of another person who was waiting for Christmas... counting the days, expecting, and hoping with excitement. 

Scripture tells us of Simeon, a devout and righteous man.  (Luke 2: 25)

He watched with anticipation.  He knew that he would see... and so he waited.

This man walked and talked with God.  He knew the Holy Spirit and His Presence.  He heard whispers and he felt nudges.  What must it have been for him to wait?  ...the Word tells us he was waiting for Israel's comfort and exhortation:  the consolation of Israel.   Isn't this the beauty of what Christ brought to earth--- both comfort and exhortation--- our consolation?

I imagine this is what Simeon woke up in the morning thinking about and what he walked around each day wondering upon.  He knew it would come--- of that he was very sure; but, when? ...When will it come, Almighty God?  When will You send the Messiah?   

Scripture tells us that Simeon was devout.  Devotion speaks to me of faithfulness and steadfast hope.  Waiting.  Watching.  Expecting.  (My children are devout in their Advent Calendar counting, too!!)

Scripture speaks of him being led by the Spirit to the temple that day.  What must it felt like to be led to the temple that day?  Can you just imagine him and his enthusiasm in making his way to the temple that morning?  Did he rush as he was getting dressed?  Did his feet move a bit faster on his walk to the temple that morning?

 How long had he waited?

And, then, when he saw Jesus!  What joy!  What relief!

...the one waited for...

...the anticipated one...

This is what advent is--  from the Latin word adventus, it means "the arrival, the approach".

We celebrate advent by waiting and anticipating "the arrival and approach of God", like Simeon.  We know He will come--- of that we are very sure!  But, when?  When will it come, Almighty God?  When will You send the Messiah?  

If we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently.  (Romans 8: 25)

We wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2)

This same Jesus will come back in the same way He has been taken into heaven.  (Acts 1)

This waiting... our advent waiting, is not only in anticipating the beauty and majesty of His Second Coming, but also in the day-to-day waiting of His today-coming.

"Every prayer-filled day sees a meeting with the God who comes; every night which we faithfully put at his disposal is full of his presence.  And his coming and his presence are not only a result of our waiting or a prize for our efforts; they are his decision, based on his love freely poured out.  His coming is bound to his promise, not our works or our virtue.  We have not earned the meeting with God because we have served him faithfully, or because we have heaped up such a pile of virtue as to shine before Heaven.  God is thrust onward by his love, not attracted by our beauty.  He comes in moment when we have done everything wrong, when we have done nothing...He comes."  ~Carlo Carretto

We wait for You, Lord Jesus!  I wait and watch for Your coming, your arrival, your approach... today.  Open my eyes to see You.  Make me Your today-Simeon.  

Come Thou Long-expected Jesus!  
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