Simeon took (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace. 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 Israel.” Luke 2:28-32 (NIV)
Perhaps, the most tender of the Christmas Canticles is Simeon’s Song. Picture the scene. Mary and Joseph are presenting their newborn son, Jesus, at the Temple according to the Law. Luke tells us of a man in Jerusalem called Simeon. He wasn’t a Priest, Levite, or Scribe. The only description we have is that he was righteous and devout. All his life he had been earnestly praying and eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. In answer to his prayer, God promised him that he would not die until he had seen Christ. Then, one day, the Holy Spirit led him to the Temple. It was the same day that Mary and Joseph were presenting Jesus. Overcome with emotion, Simeon took Jesus into his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace. 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 Israel.”
Simeon never gave up. He continued praying until the answer came. I love the phrase in Verse 27 that says “Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts…” That’s the benefit of prayer. It aligns our hearts with the heart of God and enables us to sense the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In addition, he held on to the promises of God. He knew he wouldn’t die until God fulfilled His promise to bring a Savior. The day finally came when his faith became sight as he held in his arms the Savior of the world! The hope of every believer is that one day, in eternity, our faith will become sight as we see what Simeon saw that day. Until then, remain fervent in prayer, hold on to the promises of God, and eagerly await His soon return!