Today's Scripture: Luke 2:25-32 (read)
When told the Scripture focus this year is "waiting," one of my first thoughts was one day when Bob and I stopped in Columbia to have lunch with our youngest son, Scott, who had not attended church regularly since college (almost 20 years).
As we ate, Scott very nonchalantly said, "I went to church Sunday." I replied, "Hallelujah!" He continued, "And I can't wait to go back."
How many of us can't wait to go back to church? You can imagine what that did to a mother and dad's heart who had been praying for their son for a long time. We had seen the fulfillment of another Scripture, Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
How much of our life do we spend waiting for "exciting" (but often unimportant) happenings, i.e. Santa Claus, birthday parties, 16th birthday, drivers license, school to start, school to be out, graduation, becoming 21, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Social Security, Medicare and on and on - unlike Simeon who waited for the Savior who would change the whole world. Our children anxiously wait for Santa, but have we taught them to look for and wait expectantly for the Second Coming?
"Lord, now I can die content - I have seen the Lord," Simeon exclaimed (v. 31). Are we as Simeon, truly waiting excitedly, expectantly for the Messiah to come soon? Can we depart in peace because we have seen the Lord?
Betty Cox, pictured with her late husband Bob, serves as chair of the Missouri Baptist Children's Home board of trustees.
This 2011 Advent devotion originally appeared in the November 17 issue of Word&Way.