In the Stillness …


Christmas Waiting with Holy Expectation

Key Bible Verses: [Anna] talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. (Luke 2:38)

Dig Deeper: Luke 2:33-38

Scripture tells us the story of Anna, an 84-year-old widow, who never left the temple, fasting and praying both day and night.  Why?  Because she was among the many who “were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38, NIV).

Anna’s anticipation of Messiah was not an occasional afterthought.  It preoccupied her waking life.  She waited on God with prayer and fasting and with great persistence.  Widowed after just seven years of marriage, she had not left the temple in nearly 60 years!  And then, at the very moment that Simeon delivered his prophetic word upon seeing Jesus, she also arrived on the scene and recognized the One whom she had longed to see for six decades.

The coming of Christ – his advent – involved all manner of waiting on God.  A young maiden, a dying man, and an old widow all model hearts yielded to God.

As we practice faith, hope, attentiveness, submission, patience, we see the Child.  Jesus does not yell over the blare of Christmas music. Nor does he create a spectacle more dazzling than decorations.  He does not force himself into our gift-opening traditions or override our feasting and football.  He tarries in the stillness.

– David Timms in Sacred Waiting

My Response: I will take time to be still, reflecting on the stories of those role models of faith profiled in this week’s readings.

Thought to Apply: A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes … and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German pastor, theologian)

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