Longing is part of our human experience. Two thousand years ago God’s people had been longing for the Messiah to come. It was “hope against hope”, hoping when you have great anticipation but you are almost afraid to hope because you don't want to be disappointed. It was into that context that God’s Spirit spoke into the lives of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus through their prophetic encounters with Simeon and Anna.
Throughout history God has spoken into human longings through His Spirit to those who are attentive to His voice, live according to His Word, and seek to glorify God with their lives. These are people who live with a sense of expectation and anticipation that God will do what He has promised to do.
Today’s text describes two prophetic encounters that encompass three groups of people; Mary and Joseph the somewhat unaware parents, Simeon and Anna the anticipating servants and Jesus, the infant Messiah showing us how God speaks through His people to reveal His purposes.