December 24, 2019
"Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to you 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" (Luke 2:29-32). The third Christmas canticle in Luke's Gospel comes from the mouth of a man named Simeon. We know little about him, aside from the fact that the Holy Spirit had let him know "he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah" (v. 26).
How long did Simeon live with that knowledge, watching always for the signs that the Messiah had come? Surely other dates and milestones and accomplishments in his life started to matter less. His life took on a new purpose and direction, oriented toward the One who was coming to save the world. Then came the day when the Spirit nudged him to go to the temple, and as he entered, he saw the child Jesus in Mary's arms. Simeon's eyes saw salvation, his hands reached out to touch the Son of God, and his tongue prophesied, "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace." What Simeon had waited for had finally come.
What are you waiting for this Christmas? What would make you say to God, "My eyes have seen your salvation"? Perhaps there's something you've waited years, even decades to receive from God. The good news of Simeon's song is that our waiting is not in vain. Tonight at 6:00 p.m. we will gather for a candlelight Christmas Eve service to celebrate the news that "when the fullness of time had come, God sent his son" (Galatians 4:4). God's timing may still be different from ours, but he will fulfill his promises. Like Simeon, let us turn our hopes toward Christ so that in his timing we also may join in Simeon's song, "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace."
Grace and Peace,