December 18, 2019
Pastor Dave Schutjer recently presented a Sunday message about Simeon – the man in Luke 2 who looked at baby Jesus and knew He was the Messiah. I was challenged in a new way as to the significance of this story and the example Simeon offers.
Verse 26 tells us that the Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Messiah. We do not know how much time passed between that announcement and the actual event. Was it a day, a week, a month or perhaps years that Simeon waited and watched?
He would expect to find the Messiah at the temple, because that is where God dwelt in those days. I do not know if anyone else was given such a promise, but Simeon could not allow himself to let one day go by without being at the temple to anticipate seeing Jesus. Whatever else was a part of his day, he lived to see if this was “the” day.
And it happened! One day he saw a young couple entering the temple carrying a baby. They were there to fulfill a Jewish requirement. God assured Simeon that this was the Messiah. Can we even imagine what he felt? He took the child in his arms, blessed God and said, “Now, Lord, let me die in peace, for my eyes have seen Thy Salvation” (my paraphrase).
My takeaway from this is simple but profound. I need to live each day anticipating seeing Jesus. I will not look for Him at the temple. As His child, my body is His temple. His Presence is as close as I am. I need to be aware of this and live in such a way that He would be comfortable being wherever I am. I do not anticipate His Presence in the sense that I think I will die today; however, I need to be ready.
Simeon was given a one-time, wonderful gift, but I have the ongoing, amazing privilege of living each day anticipating the assurance that He will guide me through the day, every day. I so appreciate the challenge of the life of Simeon.
Pastor Bill Ehmann