January 3, 2018
TEXT: Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God ..." (Luke 2:25-28a)
Simeon was probably reaching the end of a long life, but he had one wish left-to see the promised Messiah before he died. And God promised he would. How he must have treasured that promise.
On the right day, the Holy Spirit sent him to the temple, where a poor young family was coming to worship and sacrifice. They didn't look like anyone important. But Simeon recognized the baby-the Messiah, Jesus, his Savior-and took Him up in his arms, praising God.
Simeon was holding God incarnate in his arms. It was enough-the goal, the joy of a lifetime. And Simeon sang out his joy in the words we sing today as the Nunc Dimittis.
There are times I wish that I, too, could hold Jesus in my arms. It is hard sometimes to love a God who is invisible, whose voice we usually don't hear with our ears, whose face we have never seen. Yet the Holy Spirit keeps us faithful and faith-filled in spite of this.
Maybe that is one reason why God gave us the Lord's Supper-so that we can touch, handle, and even taste Him in His gifts. God knows that we are like Simeon. We need to see the Lord's Christ. We need to touch, to taste. And so God gives not just our spirits but our bodies, too, a share in His salvation. All of us, body and soul, was redeemed by Christ when He died for us and rose again. And someday Job's words will come true for us also:
"For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last He will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another." (Job 19:25-27a)
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I belong to You, both body and soul. Strengthen my faith and keep me with You forever. Amen.