Simeon and Anna are two who waited a lifetime for “the consolation of Israel”, who were surely disappointed again and again, but who saw what no one else could see and they leaned into it. From this aging couple we learn how to wait in hope for a day that is beyond our day, for a generation that will come after our generation, and we pass the blessing forward while we speak with confidence about the future.
Sometimes waiting is easier when we can see the reason for delay, when we can see what is happening ahead of us. But too often we cannot, and we are made to wait anyway and what causes us so much angst is that we are stuck in the moment with no explanation of what else is happening, or of how this will all work out. Joseph provides a model for how they can wait with integrity and continue to do what the Lord commands
Many people live under a cloud of shame, either for something they did, or for something they didn’t do. It’s as though they’re in prison, bound by something from the past, and it follows them for the rest of their lives. But while all sins have consequences, all consequences have an end. Too often, when our sins have consequences, our consequences have no end. We carry around the shame of our sins from the past and it feels like a prison.
When God suddenly interrupts us with hope – in the form of a promise – he often follows this by promptly doing nothing. So what do we do when God is doing nothing? Elizabeth and Mary had a lot in common with each other, but even more in common with their ancestors. Like these two women, many of us heard a promise from God, one day, but it still hasn’t happened.