Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout,waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Luke 2:25 (English Standard Version)
It’s Advent. The time on the Church’s liturgical calendar that precedes Christmastide. It’s the time of waiting for the arrival of Jesus Christ-the Lord, the long-promised Messiah who will redeem all. Christians all over the world today “wait” in anticipation for Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’s birth.
Me? I love Advent and the anticipation of the coming Holidays. During this time of the year, I enjoy the “preparatory” part of the Holidays-decorating, parties, and Advent programs. I enjoy Advent more than Christmas day itself.
However for others, they wait, but not in joyful anticipation. For there are people who are still waiting for Jesus. Not waiting for his birth, but his manifestation in others-namely those of us in the household of faith. Like Simeon in Luke, these souls are waiting for God’s consolation (“consolation of Israel”) in their lives; and many of these souls are Christian. Souls like the widow/widower you see everyday. The college student struggling alone in school without family. The single parent working and trying to be a Mom/Dad to their family. The person whose life was upended by Hurricane Sandy and has no normalcy yet. The shunned person. The unemployed person. The person struggling to stay 12 steps ahead of an addiction. The “other” (you fill in the blank). Many of these people are still waiting for Jesus.
When will Jesus come? Definitely not December 25th. Where will Jesus be? Not in some manger in Bethlehem. Jesus will only be present in our lives and in our hearts. Jesus comes through us every time we meet those who are waiting for him, and we share his love to them in word and deed. Not though ecclesiastical hectoring, or shoving the Bible down their throats; but a loving engagement meeting these souls right where they are. Jesus was our best example while he was here on Earth; can we do no better?
As we wait for Christmas, there are others waiting for the Christ. Let us who have the Christ in us bring him to them. Then they too will have something to celebrate.