AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

January 10, 2012

We look forward to Christmas all year

By Scott Bates, Mercer Baptist Church
Allied News

MERCER — Simeon was waiting.

In fact, he had been waiting for a long time.

But it wasn't the kind of waiting we endure at a doctor's office or in a line at Walmart. Simeon was waiting on God to fulfill a promise.

And when a believer like Simeon waits on God, waiting is filled with expectancy, faith and hope.

According to Luke's gospel (Luke 2:25-25), Simeon was given a specific promise: Before his death, Simeon would see the Lord's Christ or "messiah."

For a Jew living in the days before Christ, this would have been incredible. That is why Simeon is described as "waiting for the consolation of Israel."

The consolation of Israel was promised and Simeon would see him with his own eyes. And Simeon lived with this anticipation; this hope until the day he held the Christ child.

You could say that Simeon was looking forward to Christmas his entire life.

What about you this Christmas season? Do you live with a faith-filled expectancy and hope? Do you look forward to Christmas?

I know this is the season of stress and frenzy. I know that you may have lost a lot in the past year.

However, if what Simeon said about Jesus is true (and it is) and if you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior (and I pray that you have or will soon), then you can look forward to Christmas. And we can live in that expectancy and hope not only in December but also year round.

Christ has come. He has lived a perfect sinless life. He has died in our place and for our sins. He has been buried. He has risen. And now, at this very moment, he sits at the right hand of the Father as Mediator, Lord and King.

But wait, there's more.

Here's where that word "waiting" applies to you and me:

For those who recognize Jesus Christ as "the" gift of Christmas, we find ourselves waiting. We are looking, expecting, hoping.

The Christ who came is coming again. This is our hope. In fact, he is our only hope.

May we learn to live like Simeon, looking forward to Christmas all year round.

"When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." (Colossians 3:4)

"Rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (I Peter 1:13)

Scott Bates is the pastor of Mercer Baptist Church (www.mercerbaptist.com).

Published Dec. 24, 2011, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.