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Advent Day 6: Extraordinary Hopers

In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit
was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:

God, you can now release your servant;
    release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
    it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
    and of glory for your people Israel.

Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother,

This child marks both the failure and
    the recovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood and contradicted—
    the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty,
    as God reveals who they really are.

Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem. -Luke 2:25-38 (The Message)

Hope begets hope. Expectancy inspires expectancy. People who are big hopers become people who help others learn to hope. Real hope is contagious because it is rich with eager longing and bright eyed delight for what’s to come.

They were ordinary people. Added into the end of Luke 2 after the excitement of a new born baby, a bright star, singing angels and some shepherds there’s these two people that had been hoping all their life. Hoping that they would be graced with seeing the face of their Savior. Claiming a promise from God as their reality. Devoting their lives to faithfully waiting until at last, towards the end of their lives, the hopes of their heart at last came to fruition.

These are big hopers. These are the ones that inspire, that breed more hope, that sow the seeds of hope in others. Their dedication to waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise makes me want to wait as faithfully.

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