Luke 2:22-40

Malachi 3:1-4

I am sure you call are able to think of a time (or many times) that you anticipating something great that you were looking forward to for a long time. In the upcoming year, for example, I am looking forward to our first family trip to Orlando so Creighton can see the Mouse. I look forward to things like Fridays after a long work week. I look forward to getting together with family and friends for different occasions.

Throughout life, we all have those things that we hope for and anticipate. Sometimes, we can hardly wait for those things to come true. Like a small child staring at all of the presents under the Christmas tree, at 5 AM on Christmas morning, waiting for mom and dad to finally wake up so they can be opened. But how often, after the much anticipated gift or event is over, does the feeling of excitement fade away? That shiny new toy loses its luster. After time passes, that thing that was once great becomes just another thing in your life.

In the Luke passage (and also in Malachi) we hear about a great anticipation for a gift of unimaginable proportions. A gift from God that bring salvation to all who believe, Jews and Gentiles alike. A man named Simeon awaited the coming of this Messiah his entire lifetime, and was promised through the Holy Spirit that he would see him before he died. When he finally got to witness this much anticipated gift, his response was

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
   you may now dismiss[c] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31  which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
   and the glory of your people Israel.”

The gift of the salvation, Jesus, by God’s grace, is a gift that will not lose its shine. It will not fade. It is for ALL who hear and believe, regardless of previous lifestyle decisions. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God for sending His son to us, to reconcile us to Him, and give us the greatest gift; that which will last forever. Amen!