Summary: Simeon shows us what it means to wait upon the Lord and receive him personally
The cultural celebration of Christmas has come and gone. Gifts are unwrapped and Santa is back in the North Pole! Soon the decorations will come down and be put away for next year. You gave gifts and you received gifts – for some, this was Christmas. Others enjoyed a family get-together. Families came to share a meal, they came to laugh and talk. For some this was Christmas. Perhaps there were others for who Christmas was a most depressive and hurtful time - may be it was loneliness, shattered families or other health and financial problems. Christmas means different things for different people. For the business world, it was an opportunity to make profits.
All of this is the cultural side; but I wonder what Christmas meant for you spiritually? Were you too busy entertaining & unwrapping gifts or did you take time off to withdraw from the celebration for a moment and offer yourself as a gift to God. Was Jesus born in your heart again or is that something you have put off for a later date? Todays’ gospel tells us about a man called Simeon who waited a whole life time for Christ to be born.
Simeon seemed to have only one goal in life, and that was to see the Savior. Scripture says he was waiting or longing for the consolation of Israel and it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Savior.
Simeon was not a Godless man. Scripture says he was righteous and devout and full of the Holy Spirit. Yet, there was something missing in his life. Without Jesus, his spiritual life was incomplete. There are very many people who are satisfied with their spiritual life. They console themselves by saying, well I volunteer once in a while with food collections, or with the community thanksgiving dinner, I also help out in Church, and I put a little something in the offering plate, I say a prayer when I can - all this is better than what others do, and may be this is enough to get me to heaven. I’m not sure about that, but I know an easier way - don’t sweat with any of these, just allow Jesus to be born in your heart. Mary’s sister Martha did a lot of work cooking and running around to please Jesus, but Mary on the other hand did nothing - well actually she did something, she kissed the feet of Jesus. The bible says, Mary chose the better part. The better part is Jesus! Salvation is only through Jesus Christ and Simeon knew that very well. What about you? Where is Jesus in the plan of your life?
Simeon was not about to pass on from this world to the next, without meeting his Savior. In a very real way, Simeon’s dream can come true in each of our lives. Knowing Jesus is more important than anything we can ever imagine. It is a dream within our grasp. Each one of us must have that longing that Simeon had to know the Messiah personally. May be there are many goals in your life that is before Christ, but remember that all of these will come to an end at the cemetery. The only plan that works after death is the plan that you make with God right now!
Friends, I don’t know what dreams you have for your life. What is it that you’ve been waiting and longing for? What occupies your mind the most? What are you thinking of the most? Ask yourself, what is your goal in life?
Simeon knew what his goal was. More than anything else, Simeon wanted Jesus. Simeon became an old man waiting but his dream came true. His waiting was over. His seeking was over. Scripture tells us, if you seek God with all of your heart, you will find Him. If you haven’t found Jesus my friends, the only reason is because you have not sought Him with all of your heart. Sometimes, two people can be in the same Sunday morning service, hear the same message and one might say, Wow! I felt God’s presence, while the other might say, it was boring, I wish I stayed home and watched TV". God simply does not fit in the plan of some peoples lives. There is no desire for him. There is no room in their heart; just like there was no room in the inn.
Even though Simeon, was an old man, he never lost hope. Every moment of every day he was expecting the coming of the Lord. What expectations do you have when you come to Church? Do you expect God to speak to you, Do you expect to be blessed, Do you expect healing and forgiveness? What do you expect - or do you come just because it seems to be the right thing to do.