On the Eleventh Day of Christmas

We call the things we want to do before we, “kick the bucket,” our bucket list.  My bucket list includes things like, “visit all fifty states.”   Simeon was an old man by the time Joseph and Mary made their trip to Bethlehem.  His bucket list was short but huge!  That is, there was apparently only one item, but it was a massive item.  Thinking about it makes me think my own list is too shallow and ought to be reconsidered. 

Luke puts it this way, “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel…” (Luke 2:25)  It was a dark and distressing time for Simeon’s people, brought low by sinfulness. Simeon wanted to see that reversed.  

I don’t know if I’ll make it to all fifty states or not.  For Simeon it was different.  “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:26)  There’s an important implication there.  Specifically, it was the coming of the Messiah (Hebrew version of Christ) that would bring the consolation of Israel.  To wait for one, was to wait for the other.

The rest of the story: 

“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 arms and praised God, saying:  ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:  a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’”

Simeon’s bucket list was complete!  At God’s urging through the Spirit he had crossed paths with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.  He realized (I believe God revealed it to him) that this infant was the Messiah he had been waiting for.  Apparently, holding the divine infant flipped on another light switch in his mind.  He had been waiting for God to send necessary help for his own people Israel but now seemed to understand that the Messiah was bringing salvation not just for Israel but for the Gentiles (everyone else) too.

Think of Simeon’s faith to believe that little helpless infant he held in his arms was the Savior for the whole world!   When you think about the birth of Jesus, don’t forget just how incredible and profound that is. 

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