“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I
get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.” Psalm 119:103-106
Simeon was a very righteous and devout man. He was told by God that before his death, he would see the Messiah in God’s Sanctuary. Day after day, he waited to meet the Chosen One. The only dilemma Simeon faced is that he wasn’t given any details. He didn’t know how old the Messiah would be, his name, what his parents would look like, or what time of day he would come to the temple. All he could do was trust in the promises of God and live for Him unconditionally – even when it seemed like living in the dark.
After waiting day after day without reward, Simeon walked into God’s temple as he had done hundreds of times before, and there, he came across a young couple he’d never seen. They looked worn down, out of place, and apprehensive. By law, this woman named Mary, was required to be in the temple for her religious purification. It had been over 40 days since her son, Jesus, was born. When Simeon saw her and Joseph, the Lord intervened and told him that this couple and their child were special. They weren’t there by chance or coincidence. Today was the day where Simeon’s life would be changed forever: he would meet the Messiah as an infant less than 50 days old! We can only imagine the joy and excitement Simeon had that it was finally time to see the promises of God unfold!
Without fear or delay, he walked up to the transient couple and said: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Although the exact age of Simeon is unknown, his words seem to indicate that he was ready to go home and be with the Lord. All Simeon needed to see was a child, less than 2 months old, to know He was his Savior!
Simeon wasn’t nearly as privileged as we are. Simeon didn’t know of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. Simeon didn’t have a favorite parable he heard Jesus teach, or a favorite miracle he witnessed – YET, he BELIEVED with all his heart that Jesus was His only SAVIOR and this wasn’t just HIS secret anymore! Where does our faith stand in comparison? Do we believe in Christ without knowing all we know from the New Testament? Simeon saw the salvation of the Lord and a beautiful promise for us is that we too will SEE our SALVATION in Jesus, in eternity. Through Simeon’s joy, he says in Luke 2 that Jesus will be a “light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Jesus is the true LIGHT for all people. Without His light, LIFE isn’t normal – we wander in the dark and aren’t living the way we’re meant to live.
Roberta and I experienced our first power outage with Vivian and Iris back in October when one of the big storms rolled through. The power went out at about 2:00am and didn’t return until about 12:00pm. This was the first time we had to explain to Vivian that “the power was out”. As a 3-yr old, she had no idea what this meant. She kept telling us to turn on the lights, the TV, the record player – anything to resemble normalcy! We’d reply, “We can’t right now dear, the power is out. It’ll come back on in a minute.” We got out flashlights, hoping this would make some of the constant questioning go away, but still, she didn’t understand why we weren’t flipping the lights on like we do every day. It wasn’t until the power was restored that she began to understand that we relied on this “electricity” and the source had been temporarily taken away.
We can have the finest Bibles, Bible Study’s, worship services, online resources, all sorts of programs – but if Christ isn’t in it, there’s no point – we’re trying to live our daily modern lives with the power out. We need our hearts to be molded, shaped, and refined by the light of Christ. I pray that for 2021, our complacent hearts will be set on fire to not only be “hearers” of the Word, but “doers” of the Word. Jesus tells us: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” Matthew 7:24. With Christ we’re meant to live by trusting in His sovereignty and walking by faith, not by sight. Like the wisemen in Matthew 2, “so may we” seek our Savior and Lord this new year without fear, shame, or timidity.