Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus I Come"1 (Lyrics)
In a three-day conference on pastoral care of the elderly, Pope Francis talked about the gift that older women and men are to their communities. They are not to be thrown away but cherished as valued members of the church. He singled out Anna and Simeon for their part in the story. But did anyone listen to these old people, or were they dismissed as fools?
We follow Simeon's story as we draw to the close of the Christmas passage. It's not a long story but it's worth the telling.
Luke 2:25-32 – Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." (NRSV)
This Bible passage takes us on a journey as we remember with the "old folks". The emphasis at Christmas is on the Babe of Bethlehem. Old folks now get the opportunity to confirm the birth of the Messiah.
Simeon was a righteous and devout man, who, in humble and faithful expectation, was waiting for the day when God would comfort faithful people. God had promised him, through the Holy Spirit, that he would see God's own anointed Messiah before his life ended. When that time came, he was ready to go in peace. On that day, the waiting was finally over.
Simeon is the one who tells us of fulfillment. When the time seems desperately long for the fulfillment of God's promises, Simeon reminds us that the wait is worth it. We have waited what seems a desperately long time for the return of the Christ. Let Simeon be our assurance that the wait is worth it!
Prayer: Jesus, grant me to serve You, to proclaim You, to glorify You, and to manifest You, to the very end through all the time that remains to me of life, and above all through my death. Lord Jesus, I commit to Your care my last years, and my death; do not let them impair or spoil the work I have so dreamed of achieving for You. Amen. – Author unknown