Scripture: Luke 2:25–35; Isaiah 9:2; 1 Peter 1:13
1. HOPE IS A CERTAINTY ABOUT THE FUTURE THAT IMPACTS THE PRESENT
Simeon’s day-to-day life was filled with hope because he believed God would keep His promise of a Savior, the Messiah.
2. HOPE IS BORN OUT OF DEEP LONGINGS AND DESPERATE NEED
“The only ones who can celebrate Advent are the people who carry restlessness around with them . . . whose souls give them no peace, who know that they are poor and incomplete, and who sense something of the greatness that is supposed to come.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
3. HOPE IS FOUND IN A PERSON
When our hope is placed in anything other than the promises of God and the fulfillment of these promises in Jesus, we tend to settle for hope in lesser things. These things always fail and always lead to frustration.
Did you notice what Simeon said at the end of his blessing and prayer? It’s there in verse 35. He told Mary “a sword will pierce through you own soul also.” Just as nails pierced Jesus’ hands and feet on the cross, a crown of thorns pierced his head and finally a spear pierced his side. Mary would witness this brutal crucifixion of her son, the promised Messiah and it would pierce her soul. But He rose from the dead victorious and brought salvation for all who would believe the Jews and Gentiles as well. As we celebrate the Advent or coming of Jesus, we also have to remember he came to die for our sins.
How should we wait for Jesus’ second advent, His second arrival? For some of us, this means this season of Advent is perfect for forgiving someone, or for seeking forgiveness, for pressing into God and trusting Him with our deepest needs, for repenting of our sin and trusting Jesus the Messiah as your Savior, for serving people, for loving others – especially the hard to love. We wait for Jesus’ return . . . but we wait actively because of our great hope in Him.