Tuesday, December 23, 2014
A Christmas Reminder of God's Promises To Us
Which brings me to the reason I'm writing this post today, to discuss the Christmas Story, the beautiful story we find in the books of the Bible known as the Gospels, about how a virgin named Mary was to be blessed by God to carry God's own son, Jesus. We all know it by heart, I'm sure, but it's one of those stories that I love to hear unfold over and over, time after time. Each time I read it to my kids, or read it to myself, I find something new or special, a hidden gem, or maybe a forgotten one. You know, like when you watch your favorite movie and each time you notice something different. Yeah, like that!
Little back story here, my grandfather on my mother's side was named Simeon. Our oldest son has the middle name Simeon—to honor my grandfather and to have a living reminder of another man named Simeon who has a very touching role in the Christmas Story. This brings me to my 'new ' favorite part of the story of Jesus' birth and something that proves just one more time, as if we needed it, that God always keeps his promises.
"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 upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 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 arm and praised God, saying:
"Sovereign Lord, as you have
you now dismiss your servant in
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight
of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people in Israel."
I'm not sure if I'm more amazed by God's promise to Simeon or to Simeon's reaction after he gets to hold baby Jesus. Simeon recognized God's sovereignty and his promise and then he says, "...you now dismiss your servant in peace..." I can't honestly read that part without tears welling up in my eyes. I can't also help but be reminded of the peace that my soul feels when he says that. I feel a surrender or a freedom that you can't get anywhere else. Reminds me of the song, "It Is Well With My Soul", because, it was well with Simeon that he had lived his life completely fulfilled.
The next sentence proves to be even more powerful, "...for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people..." Simeon knew he was blessed, privileged even, to have actually looked into the face of God in the flesh. I can't even begin to imagine how awesome that must have been. I love how the salvation was for all people. Not exclusive to the rich or the pharisees, no 'white privilege' in that statement. We are all created equal in the sight of God.
I pray that we all find the same fulfillment that Simeon found; the kind of fulfillment that comes from a relationship with Jesus. I also hope that by reading this that we're reminded again of how God keeps his promises to us; the promise of salvation and the promise of eternal life and how awesome that it will be when we are all called home to heaven to see the face of Jesus.