“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” – Luke 2:29-32
Saturday, December 21, 2013
As I get older I tend to be more sympathetic or empathetic with elderly men like Simeon. Maybe it’s just pathetic. All his life he waited for the consolation of Israel. He had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Messiah. We don’t know when this was revealed to him, but we might imagine that it was when he was young, perhaps a child or teenager. For all we know, he may have waited sixty or seventy or even eighty years.
As he was waiting, he had no way of knowing what day would be the day. It’s not like the amusement park signs that tell you that you have another hour, another 30 minutes, or another 15 minutes before you get to the ride. This is real life. What he was waiting for could have been tomorrow, but it wasn’t. Until it was today.
I look at God’s promises, and I wonder how long it will be until Christ is formed in me (Galatians 4:19). I see where Jesus Himself will abide in me and I in Him, Vine and branch. Then there is 1 John 3:2 -- Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. I believe this, but I don’t necessarily see it happening.
From Simeon perspective, he didn’t see anything happening either. As far as he was concerned, for all those years, nothing was taking place. There was no outward evidence that the process had even been started. He had no idea what was really going on. All he knew was that he was still alive, and he hadn’t seen the Messiah. But just as God was faithful with regard to the vision He had given Simeon, He is faithful to fulfill His promises to us, to transform us into the image and likeness of Christ.
No matter how it looks now, you and I are going to get up one morning, drink our coffee, head off to work or whatever our routine is, and it will turn out to be the day. Until we see Him, it will be just like every other day we have experienced all these long years. Suddenly, the Light will appear and our eyes will see the salvation and the glory, and we will understand.