Great Expectations

Daniel 3–4; 1 John 5

She . . . spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:38

On a busy day before Christmas, an aged woman approached the mail counter at my crowded neighborhood post office. Watching her slow pace, the patient postal clerk greeted her, “Well hello, young lady!” His words were friendly, but some might hear them saying that “younger” is better.

The Bible inspires us to see that advanced age can motivate our hope. As the infant Jesus is brought to the temple by Joseph and Mary, to be consecrated (Luke 2:23; see Exodus 13:2, 12), two elderly believers suddenly take center stage.

First, Simeon—who’d been waiting for years to see the Messiah—“took [Jesus] in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations’ ” (Luke 2:28–31).

Then Anna, a “very old” prophet (v. 36), came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph. A widow who’d been married only seven years, she’d lived in the temple to age eighty-four. Never leaving, she “worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” When she saw Jesus, she began praising God, explaining about “the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (vv. 37–38).

These two hopeful servants remind us to never stop waiting on God—no matter our age—with great expectations. 

By: Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

What lessons have you learned from elderly believers about God’s faithfulness? How does their hopefulness inspire you?  

Dear faithful Father, when I lose hope, remind me to wait expectantly for You.