December 27, 2014
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Luke 2:26
My wise men are making progress along their way. Since yesterday, they have moved a little closer to the manger scene. But there are two other people who really should be included in our Nativity scene. In fact they saw the infant Jesus before the wise men did. These faithful Jews were in the temple on the 40th day after Jesus’ birth when Mary and Joseph brought Him up to the temple to present Him to the Lord.
The first is a man named Simeon. Luke describes Simeon as “righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him” (Luke 2:25b). It’s not that Simeon was perfect, he was a sinner like all of us and needed the Son of God to save him. But since he trusted God’s promise to send a Savior, the consolation of Israel, and since the Holy Spirit was upon him, we know Simeon was a believer. His faith in Jesus made him righteous and devout.
And Simeon had received a special promise from the Holy Spirit. For generation after generation God’s faithful people had been waiting for the coming of the Savior. This was a promise given clear back in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve. Each generation wondered if He would come during their lifetime, but countless generations had come and gone without seeing the promised Savior. But Simeon knows how close that coming finally is. In fact, during his lifetime, before he departs from this earth to rest with God in heaven, he will see the promised One-the Lord’s Christ. And this is the day, the 40th day of Jesus’ life, when God kept His promise.
You and I have that special honor too, like Simeon. Today we look at Jesus through the eyes of faith. We know that He has come and has saved all of us from sin, death, and the devil by His perfect life, and His innocent suffering, death, and resurrection. We also know He will return again, but we don’t know if that will happen in our lifetime or not. But one thing is certain, whether we depart from this world or Christ Jesus returns first, we will see Jesus with our own eyes, face to face-just as Simeon did. In the meantime, filled with the Holy Spirit, let us go up to the house of the Lord to worship every week, and joyously look forward to the day when we too will see Christ Jesus with our own eyes.
THE PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for Your promise that I will see Jesus when I depart from this world. Strengthen my faith through Your holy Word, Baptism, and Holy Communion that I may live in peace and share the Good News of Jesus’ salvation with everyone You bring into my life. Grant me the courage to do this until that great day when You let me depart in peace. In Jesus’ Name. I pray. Amen.
Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Reverend Wayne Palmer