Luke 2:22-32 (CEB)
When the time came for their ritual cleansing, in accordance with the Law from Moses, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (It’s written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord.”) They offered a sacrifice in keeping with what’s stated in the Law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
Simeon’s response to Jesus
A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,
“Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word, because my eyes have seen your salvation. You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples. It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles and a glory for your people Israel.”
Simeon is an old man. He has longed for this encounter his whole life. What is it to long for something your whole life – and at the last to see it fulfilled? Such a sense of completion he has that he declares that he may now depart this life in peace.
What do I long for?
There are a few things that I want to happen… I want my children to get the breaks and the opportunities they need to spread their wings and live their lives… I want my church in Kingsteignton to flourish and bear fruit… but these are much shorter the things than Simeon’s longing describes.
What do I long for? It’s quite easy to gush out with “I long for world peace” or “I long for God’s Kingdom to reign” – but do I really LONG for those things in the way that I sense that Simeon LONGED for that encounter with the Messiah? Do I wake up every day and dash to the curtains to see if God’s reign has arrived, do I eagerly turn on the radio to check if world peace has broken out?
What do I long for?
What is it that I wait and thirst for – what is it that I hunger for such that I live my days searching for it in almost desperate expectation?
Truth is, I’m not sure I can honestly say I LONG for anything quite like that. Simeon has me wondering if I should – and Simeon leaves me with a feeling of admiration for his faithful persistence, and also a feeling of joy that his longing did not die unfulfilled…