Luke 2:25-32 – Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel. (RSV)
More often than not, we read the story of Christ's birth in Luke 2, and depart along with the shepherds in verse 20. The rest of the story is about the baby Jesus being taken to the temple to be dedicated to God. There, at the temple, was a man named Simeon, a righteous and devout man.
Simeon had received a message from the Holy Spirit indicating that he would not die before he had seen the Christ. Imagine the lifetime dedication, commitment, and patience that he had for the Lord. Knowing this promise, he could easily have become consumed with awaiting this event, but he did not; he remained righteous and devout. And when the event occurred, he could easily have fled from the scene in hopes of prolonging his life, thinking that, if he were not there to see the Christ, his life would not have to end. He could have done so many things wrong, but, obediently, he did not.
When the Christ was about to arrive, Simeon followed the Spirit's instruction and went to the temple. And when he finally beheld the Christ, he immediately recognized him. His eyes had seen the salvation of the world, and now he was ready to depart from it.
Simeon did not give a second thought to his own life, but was interested only in following the will of the Lord, even unto death.
How about us? What does the next chapter of our lives hold? Are we willing to let God both turn and write the pages of our own lives? Or will we become consumed with other things and seek to better or lengthen our lives on our own? Will we follow the Lord even unto death? Will we live as Simeon did, righteous and devout, obedient until the end?
Let us fully commit our lives to God, and celebrate His being with us now. He is no longer a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, but our Saviour, and the Lord who lives in us.
Prayer: Father, we come to You now, re-committing our lives to You. Instil in us the devotion and dedication that You gave to Simeon. Help us to turn the story of our lives over to You, and to let You be the author of each new chapter. We praise You and celebrate Your birth and Your presence in our lives. Amen.