by Randy Bushey ~
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 (Luke 2:25).
Simeon is an enigmatic figure in the biblical Christmas story.
We know almost nothing about this man: details of his family, his vocation, his tribe within Israel, and his hometown are all left silent in the text.
We do know that he was a righteous man, devout in the worship of God, and in possession of the Spirit of God. We know that in some unexplained way the Holy Spirit of God had revealed to this elderly saint that the Messiah would appear during his lifetime – that before he died, his eyes would see the Promised One.
And as he moved about the courts of Herod’s Temple, Simeon spotted the new parents, Mary and Joseph. The young couple had mounted the stairs to the Temple for Mary’s ritual purification and the presentation of their firstborn to the Lord.
Mothers – particularly first-time Moms – are instinctively protective of their newborns. What would Mary’s reaction have been when this unknown man approached and plucked the child from her arms?
But before she had opportunity to object, Simeon burst into a poetic praise of the Almighty: “Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation (Luke 2:29,30).
Luke’s narrative indicates of Simeon, that He was waiting for the consolation of Israel (v.25).
Here’s what arrested my attention: the specific word Luke selected for waiting, was the identical term used by Paul when he said that as believers, we too are vigilantly waiting and watching: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Takeaway: In other words, there is a practical parallel: Simeon expectantly awaiting the coming of the infant Christ, should be our model of attentively, longingly, confidently awaiting the return of Christ.
graphic by Bill Davenport, freeimages.com