Daily D – Luke 2:25-29
Luke 2:25-29 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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.” (NIV)
Why is it some people are ready to die while almost everyone else is not? Nothing left to prove? Knowing where they’re going? Greater attachment to what is coming than to what is left behind?
**Benediction**: An invocation of divine blessing, usually at the end of a church service.
This is the dictionary definition of benediction. Simeon defined it as life’s ultimate moment. When you meet the Messiah you have waited on with the greatest of anticipation, what greater thrill could be left? The only one he could think of was to go on home to our Father in heaven.
With nothing left to prove, nothing left to see or do or expect, it was time to go.
What would it take for you to pray a prayer like Simeon and say with him, “Sovereign Lord, you may now dismiss your servant in peace?”
Please understand, this is not a plea for volunteers to head on to a heavenly reward. There is no line forming here.
The question is, what would it take for you to be ready for this life’s ultimate conclusion? One more caveat is we are not talking about a bucket list. Strip away all the bows and frills and confetti, all the dollars and cents, all the special moments of a lifetime. What would it take for you to be ready to take your bow, step out of the light, off the stage, and into God’s presence?
We all know such a moment is coming. It is indefinite at this time, and I personally prefer it this way. Are you ready?
A buddy of mine is a hospice chaplain. Hospice is where a person receives end-of-life care. Sometime back, a man whose life was better numbered in hours than days said he was fine. He would be better soon and would no longer require medical services. This was true, but not the way he meant it. He was planning on walking away from his condition when everyone else involved knew he would be carried.
Simeon met life’s two ultimate moments with humility and joy. This good, good man (verse 25) spoke his famous last words (verses 29-35) and he was gone. We do not know when or how he died. We do know he was ready. We know he was at peace. We know he knew God was doing what he promised he would do and he got to see the beginning of God’s great good news.
Today in worship, we will contemplate the majesty and glory of God. We will consider his immediacy and his transcendence. We will experience him with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will live this life for all it is worth. We will ready ourselves for life’s ultimate moment.
My prayer for all of us is readiness for this life’s ultimate conclusion and the glory of the next life’s invocation. Because of Jesus’ benediction on the cross, our anticipation of what is next most assuredly begins with him welcoming all who choose him now.
I will be ready for life’s ultimate conclusion knowing it leads to the kindest words ever spoken, the most beautiful music ever performed, the most perfect place ever created, filled with the immediate presence of our Father’s brilliance, the hands of our Savior, and the binding agency of the Spirit.
Our Father, Simeon’s heart turned toward home when you fulfilled in his presence your promise of ages past. His whole life led to that moment. That moment led to release. His next best moment came with a peaceful smile and a heart full of joy. May we each prepare for life’s ultimate conclusion so that we too may know such peace and joy as you take our breath away and inhale heaven. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.