His People: Simeon

“You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.” – Psalm 92:4

*I get to cheat a bit. I have actually written on Simeon twice. The first blog post got deleted by mistake. Last year I revisited his story through "Anna's Candles". Of all the people that took part in the Christmas Story, Simeon is my favorite...let us step into his story and see what we find: 

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”),[a] 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”[b]

Simeon Sees God’s Salvation

25 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. 26 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. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33 And Joseph and His mother[c] marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

(Luke 2: 22-35)

I love the story of Simeon. He is likely my favorite human after Mary or Ruth in the Bible. So small is his story, so great is his legacy. The Bible says that Simeon was a just and devout man. It goes on to say that the Holy Spirit was upon him. This man walked with intimacy with his God. He knew His voice and obeyed. He trusted him and was about his Father’s work. I do not know what Simeon’s trade was or the shape of his day to day life. However, God allows us through sacred pages, to peer into this man’s spirit. His character is strong and unwavering.
We do not know when Simeon received the prophetic word of God that he would be witness to the Christ child. He would see the babe that would ransom His people – the cornerstone of his faith wrapped in flesh. Yet, I believe God came to him in his youth, or at least I imagine Him coming to Simeon in his youth. Can you imagine what that promise looked like to Simeon? Every time he heard a baby’s cry or saw a young one swaddled tight in their Mother’s arms, would he think of His promise? There had to be moments of frustration, wondering when this promise would be fulfilled; an ache for it to come to pass. Yet, Simeon does not sit in misery or dejection of a promise unfilled. He does not grow disillusioned with the Lover of his soul. Instead, he tethers himself further to the truth. He waits and serves God obediently.

Then the moment, bent with age, led to the temple by God’s own hand he sees Him; this child that will not only be a Redeemer for Simeon’s people, but as he says, “a light to bring revelation to the gentiles.”
I have experienced moments of reckless unbridled joy! The Lord has shown His great favor toward me. Yet, I cannot fully imagine what unmeasured joy Simeon must have felt - the relief, the adulation, the peace. The seed of joy that plants itself deep blossomed with the rising of the Son.

Our God desires this fulfillment for all of His people. The sacred joy rushes in hushed ordinary moments. It is our responsibility to recognize this gift of His hand. So often we overlook the tiny measures He gives, the good things, which can leave us breathless.


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