A Devotion Based on Luke 1.1-2.52

Simeon was waiting for the same things everyone in Israel was waiting for: God’s promised return to Israel and his anointed king, the Messiah, to rule in Jerusalem.

The Romans have conquered the Promised Land. The king in Zion was not even a real Jew. Some of the priesthood were not even real priests. Things were a mess and the people suffered. They needed God to fulfill his promise soon. The Messiah must come to return God’s presence and authority in this land and among his people. So they waited. And waited. And waited…

Simeon had to wait until he was a very old man. But he did not wait in vain. Before God calls him home, Simeon had the chance to meet God’s Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, son of Joseph, son of God. Simeon then could go in peace knowing through the revelation of the Holy Spirit that God was about to fulfill his plan through this baby boy.

We live on the other side of history. The death and resurrection of the Son of God, the climax of history, has happened. Jesus has come and has done what had to be done to fulfill God’s plan of restoration for not only Israel but for the entirety of creation. The whole creation includes you and me. Jesus has done what needed to be done in order for us to live the way he wants us to live. We do not have to wait like Simeon had to wait.

And yet we wait. We hesitate. We wait until the last minute to embrace Jesus in our lives. I am not just talking about receiving him as Lord and Savior but also to live the life he has given us through his sacrifice on the cross. Jesus died so that we can truly live right now. And yet people often choose to wait instead.

A lot of this is because of the wrong understanding of Jesus’ “Eternal Life”. TV shows, movies, and even well-intentioned-but-not-well-informed Sunday School teachers give us the wrong impression that Eternal Life with Jesus starts after death. Believe in Jesus now but Eternal Life, or Kingdom Life, starts later.

But the King has come. His kingdom is here. His love, joy, peace, mercy, and grace is here. Even though the full restoration of all creation is still to come, he still can restore us today. This restored life, this Eternal Kingdom Life, will not be easy. You will need to serve, to submit, to let go of your ego, to love the most unlovable people, and maybe even to suffer and even die in his name. And everything will not be perfect until he comes back again. If you are looking for easy and perfect, Eternal Life is not what you’re looking for. But it is still exponentially better than anything that this world has to offer. And it is available to you now. What are you waiting for?