“Then took he Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word:  For my eyes have seen Your Salvation which You have prepared before the face of all people—a Light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Your People, Israel’.”

Luke 2:28-32

He’d waited all of his life for this moment; now his life was complete.

We’re not told how old Simeon, whose name means “hearing,” was.  But, it’s clear from the context of today’s Manna that he evidently was on up in years—for he said “Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace.”

Such words are seldom heard from the young-and-restless.

They’ve got places to go. . .people to see. . .things to do. . .mountains to conquer.  But, the older we the more we realize that time is passing us by—and, hopefully, our “bucket list” (wish list of things to do before we die) isn’t too long and filled with more regrets than it is deep desires.

We are told that Simeon was a “just and devout man” (v.25a), which means he was quite religious.  But, when we read that he was “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (v.25b), we realize he was longing for the Advent of the long-awaited Messiah.  And, it would seem his longing was more than a casual one—for his willingness to “depart in peace” indicates this was a true, deep longing of soul for him.

As he got older and the world got more evil, he yearned for the coming of God’s “Anointed One.”  Day after day he would arise and say “Could today be the Day that the Promised One appears?”

But, then, one day “it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (v.26).  And, this same Spirit—Who’d “been upon him” for a long time (v.25)—directed him to go to the Temple that day.  And, it was this same abiding Spirit Who inwardly nudged him and whispered “He’s the One” as Joseph and Mary presented their eight-day-old son for circumcision (vv.21-24, 27).

How great his joy that day as he held the Christ-Child in his arms!  Like a dying-of-thirst man with slaked throat in a vast desert who’s suddenly found a spring of water bubbling up from the ground, Simeon probably trembled with delight.  And, from the moment on until he departed from this ‘ole earth he’d never be the same again.

Dear Pilgrim, shouldn’t it be the same for us after Jesus comes to live within our hearts?  If He’s truly “the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth” (Jn. 1:15) and “the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29, 36), how, then, can we live “as those who have no hope” (I Thess. 4:13)?  May the Holy Spirit help us to be as Simeon and say “Lord, thank You for saving me, forgiving me, pardoning me and adopting me into Your Family.  And, help me to live with ‘joy unspeakable, full of glory’ (I Pet. 1:8), knowing my life now is complete and the best is yet to be!”

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated December 27, 2010

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