Did it seem like Christmas took forever to arrive when you were a child? How long have you waited for something you really wanted? Can you imagine something you want to see happen so much that you would just say I don’t mind dying now because I have seen what I was waiting for?
“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.”
(Luke 2:29-32 ESV)
Simeon’s story is told so briefly in the Gospel of Luke that you can tell everything we know about it in less than a minute, but the impact of that one brief glimpse into Simeon’s life (and Anna’s in the same chapter and the same way) is amazing. One look at Jesus, just a few days old, and Simeon thinks everything has been worth it; the years of waiting, the stress of living in an occupied country, the sad polarization of Israel’s people into competing schools of religious thought, and even the takeover of the high priest’s office as a political prize doesn’t measure up to this one short moment with Jesus. And you know that looking at the infant Jesus did not make everything else go away! But it was enough for Simeon to open his mouth in praise because God had let him see Jesus, had shown him the salvation that had entered the world and would open to way of salvation to all people. I wonder, how often do we feel the way Simeon did? I wonder if we do ever feel the way Simeon did…and if we don’t, does that mean that perhaps we just aren’t really seeing Jesus the way Simeon did? Don’t you want to see Jesus so clearly that (like Simeon) everything else falls out of sight and you know that God is doing what it takes to put everything right? Look closely…
Lord let my eyes see your glory at work, let my heart be filled with awe at the salvation you brought to us when Jesus was born, and let my mind never forget that nothing compares to your faithful love!