One of the best smells in the whole world is when a cake is baking and you can’t resist sometimes can ya? You want to open the oven door to take a peek. I remember learning in Home Economics class in high school that every time you open the oven door, the oven temperature will drop like five or 10 degrees. I never forgot that.
It is so attempting to want to open the oven door of life and see how that thing you’ve prayed about is baking, right? We want to know. I want to turn on the oven light and just check and see what God is doing. Just like when that cake comes out of the oven, it’s going to be really good. You know that God is creating something good, but oh, how we want a glimpse, don’t we? And I think God is super cool with giving us a glimpse, but sometimes, sometimes he asks us to wait. Let’s dive into this concept with Simeon and Anna and learn a bit about waiting.
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One of the best smells in the whole world is when a cake is baking and you can’t resist sometimes can ya? You want to open the oven door to take a peek. How is it doing? I remember learning in home Ec class in high school that every time you open the oven door, the oven temperature will drop like five or 10 degrees. I never forgot that. Hi I’m Erica. Welcome to the Bible For Busy People. It is so attempting to want to open the oven door of life and see how that thing you’ve prayed about is baking, right? We want to know. I want to turn on the oven light and just check and see what God is doing. Just like when that cake comes out of the oven, it’s going to be really good. You know that God is creating something good, but oh, how we want a glimpse, don’t we?
And I think God is super cool with giving us a glimpse, but sometimes, sometimes he asks us to wait. To sit in the waiting room with him, and you know it’s in that waiting room where you and I discover we’re not alone. He’s sitting there waiting with us. He’s sitting beside us with that stale cup of coffee in the Styrofoam cup. That’s our Jesus. He’s the one who tells us, I will never leave you or forsake you. He doesn’t say, oh, I I’m getting tired of sitting in that waiting room with you. Don’t look for me. No. He says, I will be with you till the end of the age. It’s a promise you and I can count on. The series this week is called Holy Saturday because in between in the middle of the crucifixion and Easter Sunday we’re the women and the disciples wondering what was going on. The disciples were hiding. The women were preparing spices to anoint the body of the Lord Jesus. They had no idea that God was cooking up the greatest surprise in human history. The funny part of this story I’ve been really ruminating on this, is that he didn’t mean for it to be a surprise. He told them I’m going to die and I’m going to rise again, but oh boy, I betcha because they were human just like us, not made of stained glass. I’m sure they were like, I’m just going to skip over that and pretend like he didn’t say that. You know what I mean? I’m just going to close that window on my laptop. It’s what we do. Sometimes we don’t like to think about hard things. Right? Okay. I want to invite you into Luke chapter two. Today we are going to meet two of the most faithful people in the Bible. They were in the waiting room of life for a very long time, but as you’re going to hear in moments, it’s going to be worth the wait. Now, before we begin in Luke chapter two, the context is the Christmas story has just unfolded. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and we pick up the story in Luke chapter two verse 21.
Eight days later,
Meaning eight days after Christmas.
when the baby was circumcised, He was named Jesus the name given him by the angel, even before he was conceived. Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child. So his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
Can you imagine what a day that must have been? God’s own son being presented to him? Wow. Okay. Verse 23,
The law of the Lord says, if a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord. So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord, either a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.
Now, important note here before we go on, before Jesus died and gave his life as a sacrifice for my sins and yours sins, to open up the door so we could have a relationship with God, before that happened, the Jewish people would sacrifice animals. They would present the animals to God and ask for forgiveness for their sins. So think of the irony here. Here is the Son of God who in 33 years is going to lay down his life for all time, so that every person who sins can be forgiven. Jesus was born to become the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. So I wanted to make sure that I clarified that in case you’re new to the faith or you’re checking out the Bible. All right, picking it back up in verse 25.
At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah, the Savior. That day, the spirit led him to the temple.
Did you hear that? That day the spirit led him to the temple. God was ready to unveil his beautiful surprise.
So when Marion Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord, as the law required, Simeon was there, he took the child in his arms and praised God saying, sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people. Israel. Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon bless them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, this child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed and a sword will pierce your very soul.
I’m sure that Mary in those moments was humbled and perhaps a little fearful, but mainly in awe. I’m just guessing those were her primary emotions in that moment. All right, picking it up in verse 36,
Anna, a prophet, was also there in the temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of 84. She never left the temple, but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
What can you and I learn from Simeon and Anna? I believe it’s one beautiful, powerful, profound way to live. The Message version of this story. In Luke chapter two describes Simeon as a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. I believe you and I can live a life of prayerful expectancy. We can ask the Lord daily refresh and renew our hope in him. Not in the answer to the thing that we’re waiting for, but to refresh our hope in him. He is our helper. Anna, like Simeon, was a woman of prayer, and do you notice she broke out as the message version of the story says, in an anthem of praise to God when she had an encounter with the baby Jesus. You and I in his word, have just encountered Jesus, and I believe that with his help as we turn to him, as we turn our hearts and our brains toward him daily, that we can also live in prayerful expectancy, which will lead to praise just as it did for Simeon and Anna. Till next time, you are loved.
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