‘Advent’ is the 4-week period before Christmas. It is a period of waiting and preparation for celebrating the coming of Jesus. On this first Sunday of Advent, David began by talking about waiting: do we enjoy waiting? Most of us don’t and may not find waiting easy. How do we wait? Patiently, reluctantly, anxiously, angrily, excitedly – it depends on the situation. David posed a question for us to consider this week: How will you wait during Advent 2022?
Earlier in the service, the first Advent candle was lit, symbolising HOPE. The Old Testament prophets, such as Isaiah, declared their certain hope that the Messiah would come:
We know that Immanuel (meaning ‘God with us’) has come; but we also hope for his second coming – we live between two advents. Our hope is not a ‘hope for the best’ type of hope but is grounded in God’s Word. Our hope is a person – Jesus is the hope of the nations.
The reading from Luke 2:25-33 introduces Simeon – a man who modelled waiting in certain hope because
Simeon demonstrates 5 characteristics of a ‘living in hope’ person – a model for us today.
1. Righteous – he was a true believer who sought to honour God in his life – he walked in a manner worthy of God; he was kind and just to others.
2. Devout – he loved God with all his heart, soul, strength and mind.
3. Expectant – he held onto God’s Word with a tangible sense of expectation; he lived his whole life in hopeful awareness of God’s plan.
4. Spirit-led – he was one of those special pre-Pentecost people who were led and directed by the Holy Spirit:
5. A Servant – he submitted to God and, as he held the infant Jesus in his arms, he prayed:
In this baby Simeon saw God’s salvation fulfilled and he recognised Jesus as the Light of the World:
– As we enter Advent, may we be astonished (v.33) and may we worship and thank God for Jesus, the hope of the world – our hope.
– Meditate on the 5 characteristics of a ‘living in hope’ person and pray that we might demonstrate them.
– Reflect on the key question: How will I wait during Advent 2022?