Scripture Reading: Luke 2:25-35
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.’
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
Waiting can be a hard discipline.
To a small child, a fifteen minute car journey can seem to last forever.
I wonder how many, “Are we nearly there yets,” can you fit into a quarter of an hour?
Even as an adult it can be hard to wait:
for the outcome of a job interview;
an exam result;
And it’s not just the hard stuff; waiting for a house move;
a longed-for baby.
Waiting can be hard.
So what if you have to wait for years?
for the longing of your heart to be fulfilled?
Do you give up?
Do you despair?
Simeon longed for Israel’s liberation.
Simeon believed -no, he knew, that one day Israel’s Saviour would come.
And one day. the Spirit led him to the Temple, for here;
The waiting was over.
Israel’s liberation was at hand.
The Messiah had come.
No mighty army.
No great leader.
just an ordinary couple with their new baby.
And, as many of us would, Simeon took the child and held him.
Then, Simeon believed – no, he knew;
The time had come.
All that hope, all that longing, that had, for so long
lain in Simeon’s heart, now lay, with a beating heart, in his arms.
As Simeon gazed upon the child, the eyes of God looked back at him, and
Simeon saw salvation.
All that waiting; not just Simeon but the many before him.
Israel had cried out from the deepest darkness and despair, “My God;
My God, why have you abandoned me?”
And here; Now; was God’s answer;
in flesh, in blood and in love.