Are You Ready to Receive the Gift of Advent?

Are You Ready to Receive the Gift of Advent?

One day, the Gift of all gifts was carried into a public space.

Although the Gift could have come with a transcendence too glorious for human eyes,
It came instead in the arms of a young Jewish woman.

No one noticed,
For the Gift was small,
Unexpected.

Besides–
No one was looking for a Gift that day. . .

No one but Simeon.

We don’t know when Simeon’s vigil began or how he discerned that the wait was finally over,
But he was there, standing watch at the Jerusalem Temple.

His life had been lived in anticipation of an arrival, and
His leading was no less compelling than an angel appearance,
For the Spirit was upon him,
Communicating with him, and
Compelling him to take his post.

With roots planted in the thin soil between the Testaments,
Somehow Simeon grew to hear the voice of God.
Did it come with audible clarity?
Or was it more like a raised eyebrow,
A nod, or the lift of a chin to point in a certain direction?

Seeing the Child,
Simeon sang his dismissal from duty,
a new psalm from Jewish lips
with lyrics of hope that moved beyond
the great salvation of Mary’s song;
With a wider circle even than
Zacharias’s anthem of redemption and blessing.

Simeon’s cameo appearance trumpeted
Revelation to the Gentiles AND
Glory to Israel,
A Divine Fiat of both/and,
Intended to rebuke an either/or culture that had all but forgotten Old Testament prophecies of Light to the Gentiles.

“How silently, how silently the Wondrous Gift was given,”
for even now, the Gift of all gifts goes unseen and unheard.
We are out for flashing lights,
Our gifts are mired in the moment, and
The lyrics to our songs get it all wrong.

After all, a message with a sword running through it is hard on the ears.

Mission fulfilled, Simeon was dismissed from his post,
But his shadowy sword-words concerning those who would “speak against” the Babe in his arms came to pass, and the sword would, indeed, flash through Mary’s heart,
Leaving the human race still divided, but along a new fissure–
the line between darkness and light.

Unbelievably, my eyes, too, have seen God’s salvation
And Simeon’s words, spoken over a tiny Baby, have been fulfilled:

Jesus has revealed the true God and the true Way.

The question is, are we
(Am I?)
ready to welcome Christ as He really is?


Celebrating the Season of Advent with Joy,

Michele Morin

If you enjoy reading Living Our Days, subscribe to get regular content delivered to your inbox. Just enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page.

I link-up with a number of blogging communities on a regular basis. They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week. I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.

Photo by DiEtte Henderson on Unsplash

 

Advertisements

Published by

Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

63 thoughts on “Are You Ready to Receive the Gift of Advent?”

    1. Thank you, Bev, [TRULY!!] for this affirmation. What is it about sharing a post like this that feels so risky? (I guess I’m used to my book reviews where I’m putting someone else’s words on the line.)
      And I appreciate your taking time out of your studies to read here. Trusting that all is going well in your academic (and other) pursuits.

      Like

  1. Wow! So stirring and inspiring, Michele. I love the way you took us deeper into Simeon’s story and, of course, the story of our Savior coming as a baby in the most unusual of circumstances. You truly have the gift of writing, my friend!

    Like

    1. Beth, thank you for taking time to leave this encouragement. There are so many words that want to be written at this time of year, and our lives are so full of doing. I’m always inspired by Simeon’s faithful and quiet waiting.

      Like

  2. The story of Simeon is easily looked over in the story of Jesus’ birth, isn’t it? How he waited in anticipation and expectation and how he celebrated when the Messiah finally came. Oh to have been there! Your words are so beautiful. I read them with a smile on my face and in my heart. Thank you for sharing them. 🙂

    Like

    1. It’s always a bonus when readers smile!
      Simeon’s message to Mary was grim in some ways, but there is so much hope for us to celebrate as we bask in the light of our first Advent candles this week.

      Like

  3. It wasn’t planned that way, but my trek through the Scriptures landed me in Luke in December. I’m reading through my ESV Study Bible this time. Just recently, in one of those passages where Jesus told someone He had helped not to tell anyone about it, the ESV notes mentioned that He had to teach people what the Messiah was truly about, correcting their ideas of what they thought He would be. When I was younger, I often wondered why Jesus didn’t just go on a hilltop or up to the temple and announce Himself to the world. But so many passages say the people were ready to make Him a king in a way that was not to be yet.

    May we be always and ever coming to know Him for who He truly is, not expecting Him to conform to a god of our making.

    Like

    1. Yes and amen to that, Barbara!
      We are so guilty at this time of year of turning the Christmas story into a Hallmark moment. We needed a Redeemer, and this was God’s plan to bring us close. It’s an amazing gift and the backstory should be with us throughout the entire year.

      Like

  4. This is beautiful, Michele! I love Simeon’s story. Such a great example of faith and patience in the long wait but at the same time openness to notice when God’s promise was finally fulfilled.

    Like

    1. I always feel for the voices of Scripture when they have to deliver a hard message, and this one had a sword in it. It’s not the kind of thing that ends up in Christmas cards, but then, we forget that the reason Jesus had come was to absorb the effects of a curse!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Catching up on my reading this morning and what a blessing to read this, Michele! I had to go back to Luke and read Simeon’s story, then reread your piece to reinforce it. You’ve captured the essence of Advent – it isn’t all about a soft, cuddly baby. And no one wants to think about swords this time of year unless it’s the latest toy from a Disney movie. Beautifully written and thought provoking.

    Like

  6. Michele, what a beautiful, powerful post. Simeon has always fascinated me. His diligence through all the years. Your words here brought him into a clearer focus. and they convicted me to evaluate those sword words. Thanks for giving me good Advent thoughts to ponder today!

    Like

  7. Why I so enjoy visiting those who link up with Sunday Scripture Blessings…..Your post and the reminder of Simeon who is sometimes forgotten. Thank you for sharing so I could reminisce on Simeon a bit and revisit his addition to the birth story. You write with a flow that is easy to read. 🙂

    Like

  8. “After all, a message with a sword running through it is hard on the ears.”

    MICHELE! This piece is stunning. Absolutely stunning. And I needed it so much. Thank you for writing it.

    Thanks also for linking this to the Grace at Home party. I’m featuring you this week–I just had to share this!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.