MONDAY 10 DECEMBER // Hope in the Advent story
The biblical account of the Advent story holds within it many people’s stories, dreams and hopes. No one did more waiting for a hope to be realised than Simeon and Anna. Their story is captured in Luke…
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised 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.’
The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
What stood out to you in this passage? How does Simeon and Anna’s hope speak to you? Simeon and Anna were able to hold in a space of devotion and relationship with God despite not knowing the timeline of when they would see their hopes fulfilled.
Key practices we see observed in their lives are worship, fasting, prayer and thanksgiving. These practices seem to allow them a perspective beyond their own reality a way to grow their confidence in God’s promises.
Read: Romans 15:13 (AMP)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.
Pray: Ask the God of hope to fill you with all joy and peace, let that settle in your spirit as you hold with God the things you are hoping for.
Respond: On your Advent calendar colour in today’s bauble, you might also like to include a scripture reference or note what God is speaking to you about through this story