25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Dear God, there is SO MUCH going on in this story.
- You have Simeon being close to you and given a promise he will see the Messiah before he dies. I wonder what his thoughts were at the time that that promise was given in terms of how that would be, where it would be, and what the Messiah would look like (he didn’t have to be a baby, after all).
- You have him in the temple and seeing Mary and Joseph. I wonder if that is when his heart started to get the idea that this Messiah wouldn’t be like any of them pictured.
- We have him holding the baby and worshiping you, with Mary and Joseph on the one hand being amazed at what Simeon was saying, and on the other hand being affirmed that their angel visits were legitimate and they weren’t alone in the supernatural aspect of this child being born to them.
- Finally, you have a prophecy that no mother wants to hear. This baby will cause many in Israel to fall while others rise (okay, that can be the bad guys falling and the good guys rising, so that might still be okay). Many will oppose him, and the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed (that might still be okay). But it ends with, “And a sword will pierce your very soul.” Is there any way Mary could possibly have known what those words meant?
- Anna is going to come along in a minute and do some more talking, but I’m not sure how helpful she was. She just raised up expectations that were probably inaccurate.
For Simeon, this must have been a weird day of having a promise kept, but maybe being surprised by how the promise was a little different than he expected. All of us understand so little about what you are actually doing.
And for Mary and Joseph, they were just trying to get through a tough day when you showed up to give them a little encouragement, and some words to remember later in their lives.
Father, help me to be in the moment and not try to get out in front of what is coming next. There are several areas of my life that are in flux right now. My children are both in flux. I have some extended family whose lives are in flux. The industry within which I work is always in flux. I don’t know what tomorrow looks like. So help me to worship you today and give you the standing and submission that you deserve.
In Jesus’ name I pray,