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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Romans 2:4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Acts 18:24-26 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.