25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
I love the story of Simeon.
He had for years been waiting for the consolation of Israel – the comfort – that God had promised to Israel. He had been told he would not die before he had seen Christ, the Messiah.
Day after day he waited with holy patience for his promise to come true. Not knowing when this would be or when it may happen.
Then finally seeing the fulfilment of that promise. Oh, the joy, after years and years of waiting!
To hold Jesus, the Saviour of the world, in his arms. To praise God that finally the years of waiting was over: -‘For my eyes have seen your salvation’.
Reading this passage, I reflect on the circumstances many are walking through in the midst of grief, fear, conflict, or any other anguish or distress.
Waiting for it to end. Not knowing when that will be or what is still to come.
Longing for peace, for healing, for change, for a time when our first thought in the morning is not on the awful situation we may be facing.
As we long for a day when our waiting will be over, ultimately, we are waiting for Jesus to return.
We long for His return, for an end to all the sin and suffering and death in this world.
Can we like Simeon wait with holy patience as we long for the day when all things will be made new?
Can we trust in our creator and place all our hope in him?
‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ Isaiah 25v9
He came as a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
He came to bring light to the world and to be the perfect sacrifice for all the sins of the world.
Will you give us faith and hope and trust and strength and even joy, in the midst of our waiting.
We long for our waiting to be over but we ask that like Simeon we can bear our burdens with patience. We put all of our hope in you Lord because we know that one day, all things will be made new.
We thank you for a birth of a Saviour, we thank you for Jesus this Christmas. Amen