Read Luke 2:25-38.
If I were to ask you how good at waiting you are, what would you say? In this second month of 2021, it can be said that we are waiting for what a new year and new administration in Washington will bring, especially in this era of restrictions based on COVID-19. In Luke’s account, Mary and Joseph took the child Jesus to be dedicated in the Temple complex soon after His birth. It was there that they met Simeon and Anna. Luke reports that when Simeon saw the child and His parents, he took the child up in his arms and gave a prophecy that the small child was going to be the salvation of God, not only for Israel, but light for the Gentiles as well. Because of this child, Simeon went on, many in Israel would be brought down and Jesus would be opposed. As we know from the Gospel accounts, Jesus revealed many in the religious leadership of Israel to have the form of religion but not the substance. Those people were interested in the letter of the law, but not the spirit. In seeing Jesus, Simeon saw that his mission on earth was finished.
At about the same time, Anna entered the scene. She was described as a prophetess who had ministered in the Temple complex for eighty-four years. Her response to seeing the child Jesus was to talk to other about Him, especially to those who were looking to the “redemption of Jerusalem,” a common phrase which is identified with the coming of the Messiah as the Redeemer. Both Simeon and Anna had lived a lifetime of waiting for God’s promise to be fulfilled and saw their waiting as part of God’s plan to redeem sinful humanity. Like Simeon and Anna we find our place in God’s plan as we devote our lives to Him and follow Him even if that includes waiting.