Luke 2:22-35 (NIV) – When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
“Most people don’t notice the young couple coming in with their little baby. Happens all the time. No different from countless others. But, as they approach, you see one of the old men get up slowly from his seat. He has a strange look in his eyes. What’s he thinking? What’s he going to say?
“You are almost as alarmed as the parents are when he takes the child from them, but his movement and his embrace is as gentle and firm as the love of God. He has seen something nobody else has. He has been praying and waiting for this moment all his life, and now it’s come. This is the Messiah; he’s seen him with his own eyes; now he can die in peace.
“How do you feel as you hear him say that? What does it make you want to do, or to pray?” [Tom Wright, Lent For Everyone: Luke Year C, pages 12-13]
Encountering Jesus is that moment “of a lifetime.” Isn’t this what we really long for as Simeon did? And, we want to be in that place every day where our hearts are drawn to encounter and know him more and more. But, as he was led by the Holy Spirit, he was one who was devoted to, anticipating, seeking and waiting on Him so that he would immediately recognize what how the Holy Spirit was moving and would see Jesus.
Response & Prayer: Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to have hearts that are devoted to Him, seeking and waiting on Him so that we will be ready to recognize as He moves us to know Him and follow His will in our lives today.
Let’s close in worship with this song, “Adore” by Chris Tomlin.