Luke 2:25 “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.”
Luke 2:36 “Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity.”
I recently started reading through the book of Luke. At first I almost considered skipping the first couple of chapters of Luke with the mindset that Christmas had just passed and that I had heard the Christmas story more than enough times over the years. But I decided I wanted to read through the book start to finish. When I came to these verses in Luke 2 I realized that I had never heard a teaching on these specific passages. If someone had asked me who Simeon or Anna were in the New Testament I would have shrugged my shoulders.
Tuning in to these short stories of these two people reminded me of something significant: God always has a remnant of faithful followers. I think that we make the mistake of thinking that the times that we live in are so dark, worse than any other time in history and that the world is progressing at a faster pace than ever towards sin and evil and rebellion towards God. But remember that over the course of history it’s always been like that. The Bible is filled with more downs than ups it seems like when it comes to Israel. Just read the books of the prophets in which apostate Israel is continually likened to an unfaithful spouse or an animal who rebelled against it’s owner/master. And after thousands of years of these cycles of sin and repentance, back and forth, we get to Jesus’ day. The Jews rejected Jesus and His message of the kingdom, the religious leadership was so prideful and self righteous that they sought to kill Him.
Jesus was living in a dark age as well, but the gospel accounts are sprinkled with short accounts of people like Simeon and Anna who were faithful to God and awaiting His salvation through the Messiah. Sometimes I feel alone or misunderstood when I’m at work or living my normal life outside of church. I feel like I’m the only Christian and that I’m seen as the odd one out, or as intolerant, or just as misguided. I wish I had other Christians to work with. But I’m reminded that even through it seems dark around me, that God always has people faithfully serving Him where He needs them. He’s placed me where He wants to use me to be an example and to represent Him and to speak to all those who are looking for redemption as Anna did! I want to with faithfully for the “Consolation of Israel (God’s people);” to spend my days serving, fasting, praying, seeking God and waiting for His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.