Daily D – Luke 2:25-26
Luke 2:25, 26 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. (CSB)
Sometimes we need to skip ahead in the reading to put things in perspective. It is also to our benefit at times to take a look back. Luke places two verses in this chapter that make it sound like he sat down with Mary for a firsthand interview.
“But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them,” (verse 19).
“Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart,” (verse 51).
“What happened next,” Luke may well have asked. Mary then told about a series of characters who brought surprise, delight, joy, and a quickening of the pulse. First up was Simeon. He stepped into the circumcision ritual, “took him up in his arms, praised God, and said, ‘Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised. . . .” (verses 28, 29).
The Latin words nunc dimittis (now dismiss) are often given as the title of what Simeon says, or sings, in verses 29-32. Listen to how Luke, via Mary’s memory, describes Simeon. He was righteous and devout and the Holy Spirit was on him (verse 25). The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die before he saw the Messiah (verse 26). He was guided by the Spirit at that time into the temple (verse 27). Simeon experienced the shock of recognition and the joy of revelation. How could he not sing?
Simeon appears to be the initiator of the phrase, “to die for.” Having seen what he, indeed all Israel, and the whole world beyond those borders, had waited for, he could Rest In Peace. He could die happy. He saw a baby to die for.
Joseph and Mary were amazed. After months of amazing events, they were still capable of amazement. Simeon leaned in and blessed them (verse 34). Then looking directly at Mary, he spoke words of wonder and warning:
“Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed — and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed,” (verses 34 and 35).
Christmas just expanded beyond the manger.
I will see Christmas as so much more than one holy night.
Our Father, thank you for Simeon. Thank you that he saw your promise as something worth waiting for. Thank you that he celebrated what he had awaited. Thank you that he teaches us more about how to respond to Christmas. Amen.
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Psalm 32:7-9 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Exodus 39:42, 43 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Exodus 33:13 “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
Exodus 31:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!”