Reflecting on the greatest story ever told during the Christmas season brings such awe. God walked among us for a time. I love how faithful followers who have little status in society play a vital role in revealing the Messiah. Simeon is one such person. Almost six weeks after Jesus is born, Simeon’s path divinely intersects with the paths of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Let’s take a journey with Simeon and imagine what it might have been like to be in his sandals (based on the events recorded in Luke 2:22-35).
Simeon grieved over Israel’s plight. The people lived under oppressive Roman rule which meant the Jewish people—including Simeon’s own friends and family—were taken advantage of through taxation and harsh treatment. He witnessed Jewish religious leaders meant to shepherd and serve the people who were focused instead on public image and selfish gain. Simeon called out to the God of Israel day after day for deliverance.
Even in times of weariness, he did not waver in patiently waiting because he clung to a promise revealed to him by the Holy Spirit: Simeon would not leave this earth until he saw the One who would deliver Israel. He believed God would fulfill what He promised through the prophets even when logic and outward circumstances taunted him to give up.
Simeon felt prompted to go to the Temple courts as he had done on so many occasions. As he rose from kneeling, he glanced around at other Israelites who had come to worship the one true God. The Holy Spirit drew his attention to a couple presenting their newborn son to the Lord as the Law instructed them.
He felt a confirmation in his spirit: This baby is the Holy One, the promised Messiah! His heart began to race as he approached the couple whose appearance showed they held no status in society. And their offering of two pigeons marked them as poor—they could not afford a lamb.
Offering to bless the baby, tears sprung to Simeon’s eyes as the teenage mother placed the tiny boy in his arms. He marveled as he looked into the infant’s eyes, and when he found his voice, Simeon declared:
“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” Luke 2:29-32
What are you hoping and waiting for this Christmas season? Healing in a family relationship or health struggle? Deliverance from an unjust legal battle, from addiction, from overwhelming loneliness? Even when life is going well, we long for deliverance from the brokenness we experience in ourselves and this weary world.
Like Simeon, let’s lift our eyes to look upon the Promised One and truly see His salvation. When we place our faith in Him, He forgives us of our sin and secures our place in His heavenly kingdom. Like Simeon, we wait in hope for Jesus. We wait for him to come back and make all things new (Revelation 21:5). Meanwhile Jesus gives us hope through His birth, life, death, and resurrection. In Jesus’ arms, we can live and die in peace. Now that’s true hope.
— Laura Wilcox is the founder and director of Sacred Story Ministries.