[Darrell Buchanan is enjoying life as a Moose Javian and ministering with the Moose Jaw Church of Christ. He is a follower and a learner who is thankful for the patience and love extended to him by God, his wife, and his son. Darrell blogs irregularly at www.darrellbuchanan.ca.]
You will see a lot of expectant eyes in the next 24 hours or so. Of course, there will be the expectant eyes of children as they open their gifts after waiting for what has seemed like an eternity. There will also be the expectant eyes looking to the safe arrival home of loved ones. As well, there will be the expectant eyes which anticipate receiving a symbol of a lover’s life-time commitment.
There are also expectant eyes in today’s final reading for Advent (Luke 2:25-33). They are the eyes of Simeon who is described in a compact character reference as “righteous and devout” and “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (2:25). Simeon’s eyes are looking with hopeful expectation to the coming of God’s reign. He has been promised by way of revelation that he will not see death before he has seen the Lord’s Messiah (2:26).
We are not told how long Simeon has been waiting. But when the day finally comes, God, through the direction of the Holy Spirit, arranges for a temple court rendezvous between Simeon, the infant Jesus, and his parents. And once again in Luke’s account of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, a song fills the air.
It is a song that praises God for doing as he promised. It is a song that celebrates the child in Simeon’s arms as the salvation of God, the visible proof of God’s concern for his people (2:30-31). It is a song that heralds the inclusion of those outside of Israel (“the Gentiles”) in God’s salvation and glory to Israel because the promises of God will come through the Promised One of Israel. The arrival of Jesus, the Lord’s Messiah, is the advent of a new era of divine consolation.
Simeon’s expectant eyes have been engulfed in the advent of God’s reign; the dominion of darkness has been pierced by the light of salvation. Now that salvation has dawned with the coming of Jesus, Simeon the slave is ready to be released by his master (2:29).
The waiting will soon be over for us too. Advent ends in just a few hours and Christmas begins. Do we have expectant eyes? Can we see the light of God’s salvation in Christ Jesus? Peer through the darkness and see the visible proof of God’s concern for you. Such a vision will leave you like Mary and Joseph — staring in amazement and marvel.