Yesterday I went to church. Hardly surprising I know but while I was there I saw various gifts being used, people doing ministry and it filled my heart. The church I’m going to be with through Easter is a good group of people and I love seeing them interact because they are so loving and kind. They have big hearts and they are a community. This morning as I pulled out my Lent Project the importance of community and gifts really struck me. We see two people in this passage. Simeon is a man who is waiting on God’s specific promise of a redeemer to come and Anna is a prophet for the Lord who trusts in God’s promises and is in constant worship and prayer. Two different people experiencing a moment with Jesus who see things differently, who give us a view of what is to come.
Simeon is given the gift of knowledge, of foresight. He shares with Jesus’ parents the pain that is to come, a hint of what may happen. He reminds them, and us that Jesus is about more than just freedom from political injustice, he’s here to redeem our hearts. Anna rejoices with thanksgiving and praise for the coming of the child and tells everyone who has been waiting for redemption that it is here! Simeon’s knowledge is important as is Anna’s praise and thanksgiving. Knowing what is to come, that it may be hard and difficult shouldn’t stop us from giving thanks today. These two people balance one another and assist us in seeing the big picture. They help us to see the whole story and that is what we need to be looking at as a church.
We all have different gifts of the same spirit. Some of us are teachers, some prophets while others are servants or healers. All of us have a gift from God and none of us can tell or experience the whole story alone. We need one another. We need each other’s strengths and gifts to do God’s work in the world.
Today we are asked the question “Are you willing to wait for God’s promises to come true?” and I think that’s something I will really reflect on. I am someone who has a tendency to want things to move at a pace that I am comfortable with and I know I need to sink into God’s time and plan. But all that aside, this morning I really see the necessity of being in community, of holding one another up in faith. Anna and Simeon didn’t wait for a redeemer at home. They gathered with others to find strength. We need one other. We need each other for support and encouragement as we wait for God to work with us.
While I will spend the rest of the day reflecting on God’s promises and my trust in God I give thanks now for the community that is offered. I am grateful for the strength that comes when we are all together, using our gifts for the work and will of God.