Holding the Baby
Keeping promises—it’s one of life’s imperatives if you want anyone to depend on you. My third granddaughter was singing in the chorus of her middle school down in Austin. Her school is still committed to the Liberal Arts, especially music, and I promised that I would come and hear her winter concert. So on Tuesday afternoon I started down I35 and was seated in the auditorium at 7:00 when her girls’ chorus, “The Doggie Dames” beautifully sang. As her Papa, I kept my promise, but the fact that God kept his promise to Simeon, a devout Jew living in the closing days of Herod the Great is the reason that my granddaughter and her classmates were having their concert in this season. What’s amazing is that unlike all of us, Simeon had God’s promise that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
“Note this! There was a man in Jerusalem. His name was Simeon. He was a just and godly man and was waiting for the consolation of Israel. Now the Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. So by the Spirit’s guidance, he came into the Temple, and when Jesus’ parents brought Jesus to do what was customary in obedience to the Law concerning their child, Simeon took Jesus in his arms, blessed God, and said...” Luke 2:25-28
Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Malachi, the prophet who wrote the last book in our Old Testament, none of these great Old Testament saints got to hold God’s Anointed in their arms. In Genesis 3:15 God began his Story with a promise. A woman would give birth to a male child, and at the climax of the Story, this child would crush the Serpent’s head. According to Luke, Mary was the woman, Jesus, her firstborn, was the great male child, and Simeon was the godly Jew in the Temple who got to hold him and look into his face.
LORD, your timing is incredible! Mary and Joseph didn’t have a clue about Simeon. Simeon had no idea who Mary and Joseph were. All of them followed the lead of your Spirit, and they met at just the right moment so that Simeon could take Jesus in his arms. In Fiona’s concert, they sang out, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Thank you that Simeon assures us that you have answered this prayer.
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