Saturday, February 2, 2008
Listen to this devotional:

Luke 2:29-32 – Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel. (ESV)

Recently, as Caroline and I did our weekly round in the local supermarket, I noticed an elderly man lingering at the end of a row of shelving, and I thought that this waiting was a bit odd. Maybe he was frail and had agreed to stay there so his partner could find him again after retrieving something elsewhere in the store. Who knows?

Later, I returned to that part of the store for some bread. There was the man who had been patiently waiting, now picking up custard tarts, bread, and other bakery sundries, all at a reduced price. Apparently, he had known the time when price reductions for daily perishable bakery goods were carried out, and waited for the staff. As I was there anyway, I took full advantage and bought a multi-pack of custard tarts too.

Subsequently, when we were at a checkout, I saw the man again. With a solitary carrier bag filled with his reduced-price sundries, he left the store, alone.

This man's patience reminded me of Simeon, who, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, knew something advantageous was about to happen. He was not waiting for a mere morsel; he was waiting for the One who would later call Himself the Bread of Life. He was waiting so that he could rest in peace. That is all we know about the man who disappeared into obscurity and then heaven.

We have the advantage of knowing the outcome for the consolation of Israel and the Gentiles, because we read it in the Bible. Let us take full advantage of the grace shown in Jesus, and waiting patiently, immerse ourselves. Maybe we, too, before God, and at the right time, will be able to perceive Emmanuel — God with us — in our everyday life, before we depart to heaven.

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that You have been patiently waiting for us to return to You. We ask that we might be forgiven our sins, and looking forward, might once more dwell in Your presence. Lord, grant us eyes to see, minds to perceive, and ears to hear what You are saying to Your people today, because we ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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