When the eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus—the name given by the angel before he was conceived. 22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) 24 and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
25 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,
29 Now, Master,
you can dismiss your servant in peace,
as you promised.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation.
31 You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to your people Israel.
33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
— Luke 2:21-35

Sunday, December 24


Scripture Reading: Luke 1:35; Luke 3:21-22; Heb 4:14-16

The Future of Christ –Anticipation - Salvation & Return

“Are we there yet?,” is the question that every child asks on a long trip. “Can’t we open just one present?,” is the question that every kid seems to ask on Christmas Eve.  It is easy to see why Christmas Eve is the one day of the year when anticipation overflows many hearts.

There is much to look forward to including  presents, family dinners and the chance to sit back and relax. However, is it really presents and family dinners we need to be looking forward to, or something more?

This passage in Luke 2 is centered on the theme of anticipation and fulfillment.  The first sense of anticipation begins not with Simeon but with God the Father.  Many centuries earlier, God had given his people in Israel the Law through Moses and instructed them to bring their firstborn sons to present them before the Lord and to offer a sacrifice.  When God gave this law, he already knew that one day it would be His Son that would be brought to the temple.  The obedience Joseph and Mary showed by taking their new baby boy to the temple in Jerusalem was the fulfillment of this anticipatory law.

Likewise, Simeon had learned by the Holy Spirit that he was to see the Lord’s Christ (anointed) in his lifetime, and that this baby was to be God’s salvation to man.  Simeon was very old and perhaps had been waiting many years for the fulfillment of this promise. The blessing he shared gave Joseph and Mary a marvelous sense of wonder to hear that Jesus was to be the way of salvation.  Yet, they could not have foreseen how eternally significant that promise was to be, for not even death would be able to hold the Son of God. 

As followers of Christ, we should hold the feeling of anticipation close to our hearts, just as Mary did. It’s Christmas Eve and anticipation is in the air! As we look forward to the celebration of the birth of our Savior, let’s reflect also on the wonder and joy that awaits us upon his return. Anticipate the return of Jesus! A baby no more.  A dead man on a cross no more, but our glorified Lord returned to judge the living and the dead, to give us the present of his presence and to gather the church for the most glorious family dinner of all time. Let the anticipation of Christmas morning fill your heart with excitement and yet lift your gaze beyond it, towards the long anticipated hope of Christ’s second coming. Come quickly Lord Jesus!   


Reflection Questions:

  1. What do you look forward to seeing in your own lifetime?
  2. How does the knowledge of the imminent return of Jesus change the way you live? Does the thought of God planning and anticipating the moment of Jesus’ birth change the way you think about tomorrow?


Family Activity: 

Share things you are looking forward to.

  • Kids:  Share one thing you are looking forward to on Christmas Day and one thing you are looking forward to next year.  
  • Adults: Share one thing you are looking forward to on Christmas Day, one thing for next year, and one thing you look forward to seeing in your lifetime.