Focal passage: Luke 2:25-38
Between 397 and 400 CE, Augustine of Hippo wrote a personal memoir, often referred to as The Confessions of Saint Augustine, that reflected on his life before and after coming to Christ. Considered the first autobiography, Augustine recounted his desperate search for fulfillment in life. Search as he may, every pleasure left him feeling more empty inside.
It wasn’t until he found Jesus that his soul discovered genuine fulfillment. As he reflected on this transformation, Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.” He finally understood that the longing of his soul was an anticipation to be reunited with the soul-maker. Only there could he find true peace and satisfaction.
Luke recounts two people who were the living definition of anticipation. Unknowingly, they were waiting at the temple in Jerusalem to meet their savior. When Jesus was old enough, Mary and Joseph took the young Messiah to the temple in keeping with the law of Moses.
When they arrived at the temple, Joseph and Mary met Simeon, an old man who was “righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation” (v 25). They also met a prophetess named Anna who was “serving God night and day with fasting and prayers” (v 37). Upon seeing Jesus, the two passionately rejoiced as they blessed the family and praised God. They had seen the one of who their hearts longed for.
Do you find yourself longing for something … more? Do you feel unfulfilled after you’ve binged that latest Netflix show, closed your laptop after a long day at work, or flown through another weekend?
The Bible tells us that we were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). As image-bearers, we were created for more than the everyday coming-and-goings of life. If you find yourself feeling empty, ask yourself: What am I trying to satisfy myself with? The answer may be revealing.
Seek God with your whole heart and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). Spend time with the Lord in Bible reading, prayer, fasting, community and corporate worship. Perhaps then you will be able to say with Augustine that your once restless soul has now found its rest in Him.