advent week 4 – waiting on a promise

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Today we are looking at a passage from Luke, chapter 2, verses 25-33.

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:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your 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.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

Have you ever waited for something? I don’t mean waiting on your coffee or for the update to ProPresenter. I mean something with significant life implications.

In Luke 2, we meet a man named Simeon. He was a great guy, “righteous and devout.” He was one of the Israelites who was waiting on the Messiah. They were waiting on Him to free them from bondage. See, they had been torn down, divided, and destroyed by the Assyrians and were now ruled by the Romans. They had hope, though. The Old Testament foretold of a messiah who would come and free them. The problem was that no one knew when He would come. Well, no one but Simeon. Simeon had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen this Messiah. Can you imagine going every day wondering, “Will this be the day?” He had a promise, but he had to wait. And talk about a promise; this is the savior of all humankind we’re talking about here!

Luke writes that Simeon felt moved by the spirit to head into the temple courts one day – the day Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple to make the required sacrifice. It says that Simeon took Jesus in his arms and knew that he was holding the Savior. Simeon knew he had seen what God had promised, and that hope had come. I can only imagine his excitement as he praised God at that moment. 

God’s fulfillment of His promises doesn’t always look like we expect. Simeon was waiting on the Messiah, but I don’t know that He was expecting it to come as a baby. Similarly, the Israelites expected a messiah to overthrow Roman rule and establish a new kingdom. They didn’t realize that Jesus would instead come and free us from the bondage of sin and establish a kingdom that supersedes the governments of the day.

I remember years ago waiting on God to fulfill a calling He had in my life. After five years of waiting, during a time I wasn’t looking for God to show up, He led me to a place that was better than I could have ever expected. The way God presented it in my life made me doubtless that it was God-ordained.

I don’t know what promises you may be waiting for during this season. Maybe it’s the promise of rest or a renewed purpose. No matter what it is, my prayer would be that this Christmas season, you find peace because God shows up to those who wait on His promises. It’s not always easy waiting, but He always delivers what He promises in His time.

Need some community and prayer during this time? Reach out to us and let us know how we can pray for you, your family, your team, and your church this holiday season!

Picture of Adam Erickson

Adam Erickson

Adam has spent the past 16 years working with churches and non-profits, helping them tell stories of life change. Now he teaches through Smartphone Storytellers, a free platform designed to train missionaries and non-profits how to tell those same stories using the Smartphone they have in their pocket. Alongside that, he also teaches courses at Moody Bible Institute and Charleston Southern University, while also working as a Filmmaker and Live Video Director at Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC. When he's not serving the church, Adam enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids either sailing or hiking.

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MAY 6-7, 2025