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 on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
you may now dismissyour servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
Ann Voskamp has been leading our family Advent this season. Ann is a wordsmith and her book, The Greatest Gift does not disappoint.
Inspired by her December 3 entry, I challenged the family to ask the Lord to reveal to them the answer to the question God asked Adam in the Garden, “Where are you?”
Husbands/dads, a word of caution here. Do not challenge your family to a question you are not first willing to answer for yourself.
"Doldrums" is the word the Lord gave me the other day when I asked Him “Where am I?”
The word gave voice to a picture that had been forming in my mind. The picture that had no edges suddenly had a frame. I thought of the poem I wrote while in high school – “A Ship Called Faith”. I wrote it on a shrinky dink and turned it into a key chain. One day I bought a picture of a ship navigating a tumultuous sea.
A solitary ship.
The ship called Faith.
The one from the poem.
One night, when I was in college, I watched the ship sail. It floated past its frame and onto the wall next to my bed. A dream? Perhaps...
I’m seeing that ship again in my mind. Floating and still.
In the doldrums.
In the doldrums, a ship can list for weeks without wind. In the doldrums, a captain can do little save for comfort his crew and pray for a breeze.
I asked the Lord to increase my faith.
“If you have the faith as small as a mustard seed…”
I asked Him for a wind to fill my sails.
“The wind blows where it chooses…”
So I wait.
I wonder how long Simeon waited for the "consolation of Israel." How many years had it been since the Lord gave him the promise? How many winters, how many weddings, how many friends had passed while he waited? How many days did Simeon awake in expectation only to retire to a world unchanged?
We know little of Simeon. But we do know that God showed up like He said He would, like He always does.
Sometimes it seems that God has left us stranded in the doldrums, like He forgot to send the wind.
Rest assured, the wind will come. He may fill your sails with a trade wind or a hurricane, but He will come.
Just like Christmas, He will come. Just like the Christ child, of whom spoke the prophets, He will come.
And just as Jesus promises in His final recorded words to us in Scripture, “Yes, I am coming soon” – He will come.
Let us proclaim in Memorial Acclimation:
Christ is risen
Christ will come again