Simeon's story

Simeon’s Story: Waiting Gives Way to Joyous Wonder

We meet Simeon on the day Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple for his circumcision ceremony. As they were preparing to dedicate their eight-day-old son to God, in another part of town, Simeon felt a nudge to get to the temple (see Luke 2:27).

Ever have a divine prompting like that? It might be mysterious; perhaps a name you haven’t thought of in years flashes through your mind, and you feel the urgent need to pause and pray. Or it might be disguised, a text from a friend inviting you somewhere.

Whatever the case, Luke tells us this wasn’t the first time God had spoken so clearly to Simeon. Once before, God had assured this old saint, who longed to see the Messiah, that he would see him before he died (see Luke 2:26).

Lots of people rolled their eyes whenever Simeon shared that story. So be it. He knew what he knew. For Simeon, it wasn’t a question of if it would happen, but when. And so he waited, almost craning his neck some days, looking for a sign. So on this day, when the Spirit poked him hard, right in the heart, Simeon was out the door like a man 50 years his junior.

Here’s something a lot of people don’t know: Biblical hope isn’t wishful thinking with your fingers crossed. The old Hebrew word for hope is often translated as wait. That’s what Biblical hope is—the confident expectation that something good is just ahead. But since it’s not there yet, we have to stay alert because hope pays attention. And one day, hope pays off. All the waiting gives way to wonder.

This was the experience of the expectant Simeon. Spotting the infant Messiah, “Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace’” (Luke 2:28–29). His careful watching had led to joyous wonder.

This was the experience of the expectant Simeon. Spotting the infant Messiah, “Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace’” (Luke 2:28–29). His careful watching had led to joyous wonder.

By Max Lucado from the NIV Lucado Encouraging Word Bible.

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