Summary: A first person Christmas narrative focussing on the prophecy of Simeon when the Christ Child is brought to the temple.
a) Oops - Waiting. I have been waiting here... It is not an unusual thing to a Jew... waiting that is. For 400 years we waited in Egypt... for 40 years we wandered the desert...for years we waited for a king... for centuries we have waited in exile... we have waited under the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks and now the Romans, waiting, waiting, always waiting, waiting for the Promised One, the Anointed One, the Holy One, the Meshiah, our Christ to come... waiting. Aaaah, but I know something, something that makes it all worth while... What do you know Simeon, you may ask??? Well I will tell you... I know when he will come... well not exactly when, but I know that it will be in my life time, the Lord told me so. How... well some things are too special to be spoken.
b) Ugh - It was years ago when the message came to me, but I knew it was true, it was as clear as day, the time for the Consolation of Israel was at hand, the Lord’s promise would be kept, the Christ would come. And every day since then I have come to this spot, to wait and watch. My evenings were consumed with studying, anything and everything that pointed toward the Messiah, where would he come from, what would he be like, what would he do... so many pearls of wisdom I have uncovered. He would be born of a virgin, and so I keep watch for a young woman, perhaps without a husband, maybe with her parents. He would come from Bethlehem, 6 miles South East of here. No doubt a child born so close to Jerusalem would be redeemed in the temple when his mother came for purification, and so I watched and waited... waited... waited.
Whose son would he be? A descendant of David’s that was clear, but would he be aristocracy? Would he come from a political family in Israel? Or maybe he would finance a vast army to smash the yoke of exile from the shoulders of his people... perhaps then he would be the son of the rich? But so many prophecies point to the restoration of the nation with God, so perhaps he would be a great rabbi who would renew the faith of the nation, replace this suedo belief with true righteousness, maybe he would be the child of a priest.
The years of waiting have tired me. I am no longer the man I once was. My legs ache, (they say that the legs are the first to go you know.) My eyes have grown weak so that I must draw near in order to see the faces of those entering to worship. My back is not straight as it used to be and I can neither sit nor stand comfortably. It is clear to me that I am dying, life seems to leak out of me and every night I wonder whether I have somehow missed him, if I am perhaps mistaken, if maybe tomorrow I won’t come to sit here and wait anymore.
c) Whee - Yesterday changed all that. The morning started just like any other, I checked to see if I could still wake up and found that I could. As the sun came up I shuffled through the streets, nodding to those I knew and greeting friends. I arrived here to my spot just as the temple doors were open and began my daily procedure of wandering back and forth, reading my scrolls and studying the promises. Sometimes I would sit, sometimes I would stand. I glanced towards the gates for a moment and that is when it happened, it was extraordinary! My sight was clear and I could see as if my eyes were 30 years younger. A young couple approached carrying an infant. The young man carried two pigeons, the purification and sin offering made by the poor in place of a lamb. Within me something leaped, and in my ears it sounded as if all the heavens had joined to sing. My back straightened and my legs felt strong again and deep within me came the confirmation I had waited so long to here. MESSIAH!
The young couple seemed curious and awe struck when I approached them and took the child in my arms, perhaps they could see on my face what I felt in my heart for they did not resist me. As my eyes fell upon the small dark eyes of this infant and he stared so simply at me I knew... in my arms lay the Messiah, the Christ, the Saviour of Israel. But in those moments my heart was filled with greater knowledge and as if I stood on the peak of the great mountains for a moment I could see the light from this one spreading across the nations of Gentiles far beyond Israel. There are moments in life that cannot be contained and this was one of them, as I opened my mouth to speak in place of my words came a song of praise!