The first Advent was full of surprises. Sure with the wisdom of hindsight we can see how the Bible revealed He would come as the Babe of a virgin mother, and in lowly circumstance, and even kings (wisemen) would bring Him gifts to honour Him, and yet His timing and method still caught all off-guard. Except perhaps (to some extent) old Simeon and prophetess Anna, who seemed to know they would see Him in their lifetime. Our mindsets can trick us in to expecting things simply based on our expectations or hopes. God will come in His way, and while revealing hints of the what, why, and how, He continually reveals He is not bound by creation, He makes His own way, and picks the moment needed based on an eternal view of life. And yet, there was Simeon, who was told by the Holy Spirit he would not die before he had ‘seen the Lord’s Christ’. He is not alone, there are others blessed with this calling, and they will patiently wait and watch for His second coming…this is their work.
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. (Luke 2:35,36)
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21:25-31)
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:32-37)