The Christian life is a waiting life. Not a waiting-around life, but a watching-and-waiting life. It’s to be an eyes-on-the-horizon, waiting-for-the-dawn life. What’s just below the horizon is Jesus’ return.
Jesus began preparing his disciples for this even before he went to the cross. “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:2–3).”
After His resurrection, as Jesus ascended into heaven and a cloud took him from the disciples’ sight, two angels appeared to assure them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven (Acts 1:11).”
Jesus told parables to encourage his disciples to live watching-and-waiting lives. Both Paul and Peter urged the churches to which they wrote to live with a forward-leaning posture, “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)” and “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God (2 Peter 3:12).” This hope ought to mark and shape our lives.
Consider how our statement of faith describes what we believe about Jesus’ return.
We believe in the personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, requires constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service, and energetic mission. (EFCA Statement of Faith)
But it’s been over two thousand years since Jesus promised “I will not leave you us as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:18).” We may be tempted to think, as scoffers did in Peter’s day, “Where is the promise of His coming (2 Peter 3:4)?”
If you can relate to that feeling, you will be encouraged by Simeon and Anna in our passage this Sunday, models of constant expectancy. These two “one hit wonders” in Luke’s gospel come and go in just a few verses, but the testimonies of their lives remind us of the greatness and certainty of our hope and show us how to live watching-and-waiting lives in our day, even though we have yet to see God’s salvation come in all its fullness.
This Sunday Kenny Clark will be preaching Luke 2:22-40. Caleb Parker and Dale Bryson will be leading our sung worship. Would you please pray for each as they prepare? And pray for our Grace family, that for each one of us, our blessed hope would motivate us to godly living, sacrificial service, and energetic mission.
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
Forever with the Lord by Songs of Grace
My Father’s house on high
Invades this earthly sphere
By means of faith’s foreseeing eye
Those golden gates appear
And then my spirit faints
To reach the land I love
The bright inheritance of saints