He took Him up in his arms and blessed God ... (Luke 2:28a).
Read Luke 2:28-33.
Most of us really anticipate Christmas homecomings and get-togethers, but few of us look forward to that moment we have to depart. Saying goodbye is rarely easy, but it's wonderful to leave on peaceful terms, returning to normal life with warm memories of Christmas.
Simeon thinks of something similar as he steps up to the young couple and takes the Child in his arms. He says, "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation." Many have taken Simeon's words to mean he was old or close to death, but not necessarily. He had spent years anxiously waiting to see the consolation of Israel, and now the suspense has finally ended. Looking down into the face of the Christ Child, he knows he can live out the rest of his life with this peaceful, joyous memory.
Simeon points out that God has prepared His salvation before the face of all peoples. He doesn't want us to look at a baby in a manger and get warm fuzzy feelings. Instead, we are to be confident that Jesus Christ came into this world to make us right before God. He came to save us from death and hell by His suffering, death and resurrection.
Joseph and Mary both marvel at the things Simeon says about Jesus. For the first time they learn He has come not only for the people of Israel, but for people of all nations. Through Luke's words we, like Simeon, have looked upon the Christ Child: our Lord and Savior. Because of His life, death and resurrection, we can pass the rest of our days in peace and faith.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You that I can depart this Christmas season in peace, having seen Your salvation in the Child of Christmas, Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
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