Posted by: Jo | June 22, 2012

Faithfully Waiting

Face to Face with Jesus (Part 1 of 10)

“They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4)

imageI have always been intrigued by the people Jesus interacted with face to face in his time on earth and I have begun to look more deeply into each encounter to unravel the mystery of why these particular ones were chosen, and the significance of why they have been recorded for us, and how we can relate to what happened, and how we can apply the lessons learnt to our own lives. So I am about to experiment using a new format for my blog which will entail commenting on a specific theme rather than a random topic each week. So today is the first of a ten week series devoted to the theme, “Face to Face with Jesus

The Heavenly Father sometimes chose unlikely (in our eyes) people to come face to face with his son. Beginning with a group of, probably dirty, shepherds who were the first to view his beautiful face, to prostitutes, lepers, dodgy tax collectors, to even eating in the homes of rich Pharisees, they seem a very disparate group, but when we study these encounters we begin to realise the wealth of knowledge they contain for us in our own relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We see, Jesus with deep compassion walk beside people in all sorts of everyday situations and take heart that he is doing the same today.

The two we are going to look at today are, Simeon and Anna. Their story is found in Luke 2:21-38. I love this story as we get a beautiful image of two young people, Mary and Joseph, imagebringing their precious new born son to be presented to the Lord. Even in that first image we have a great message for all young parents of the importance of ensuring that our children will know who their Heavenly Father is and his great love for them. When Mary and Joseph enter the temple we realise it is not just the priest on duty that morning who greets them. Again a beautiful message for us. Once we belong to the Lord there are no random happenings, no coincidences, we can trust our lives to his capable hands. The one who greets them is Simeon and as we continue to read we know at once this man has been especially chosen by the Holy Spirit

So what do we learn about Simeon?

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” (Luke 2:25)

How we would love at the end of our lives to be graced with those words, “righteous and devout”. God’s gift to Simeon which had been promised to him long before, was that he would see the Christ the Saviour before he died. Simeon was now an old man, yet he never doubted, what the Lord promised, he delivered. On coming face to face with this long awaited child he bursts into jubilant praise for God. What wonderful encouragement for us who may be waiting for a promise from the Lord to be fulfilled or that answer to a prayer for a loved one, or perhaps waiting for good news about an outcome of an ugly situation. Take heart from Simeon’s faithful waiting.

The next beautiful character to encounter Jesus is Anna. Again we have another picture of a faithful lover of the God Almighty. We learn that Anna, who we are told is 84, had only seven years of marriage before her husband died. So is she filled with bitter resentment? Does she become angry with God for treating her so harshly? Is her cry one of, “poor me”? No. We read,

“..She never left the temple, but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.” (Luke 2:37)

Anna also bursts into thanksgiving for the wonderful privilege of coming face to face with this Christ child.

I think both Simeon’s and Anna’s story is a loving acknowledgement of our imageHeavenly Father’s value of old age. Too often if we are old we feel we have not much to offer our Lord or if we are young we sometimes ignore the wealth of wisdom the old have to share. In the big family of God we need each other. If you are old, reading this, take heart at Simeon and Anna’s story. If you are younger, seek out an older person to spend time with, so we can praise and give thanks together just as Mary and Joseph did with Simeon and Anna.

Next week we will look at Jesus as an adult and how he comes face to face with two paralytics.

Personal Reflection

What is the most endearing part of this story for you? Does it help you to see the Father’s love for both the young and the old?

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Responses

  1. Sounds good Jo. Will look forward to the rest of the series. I can’t learn much from the elderly these days,[except those who write thought provoking blogs] but I often get a message from the young.
    Love, Mary.

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  2. Even as I get older (32 years in ministry) I am glad for older friends. I spent an afternoon this week soaking up the wisdom of an elder saint. I’d love to be like him when and if I get to his age. Thanks for the thoughts. I look forward to the rest of the series

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  3. Jo, I love your new theme !
    Everything you write teaches me that little bit more! I look forward to the 10 weeks of Face to Face with Jesus
    much love Jennifer

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  4. Excellent new approach Jo. Foolishly I have thought always of the Holy Spirit’s coming to people after Christ’s Resurrection, but here is the Spirit in Simeon, as it was in so many of the people we meet in the Old Testament. You have made Simeon and Anna real and endearing people for us -not just two old codgers hanging around the temple!
    Regards -Jo

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