“Mom, what is up with great grandpa? He is all dressed up and rushing around. Where is he going?”
“I don’t know, he does seem intent on something.”
“Grandpa, you okay?”
“Yes, yes, I am fine. I must get to the temple, this is a special day… see you later, I will tell you all about it.”
Simeon made his way as fast as his old legs could carry him. His friends called to him along the way, but he had no time for idle chat today. God had given him instructions and he was not going to miss out for anything.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,— Luke 2:27
We are not told if the Lord told him exactly what to look for. Was the Messiah already full grown? Should he look for a man? How would He appear? As Simeon stood there, eyes searching the crowds, his gaze fell upon a young couple coming through the courtyard.
The young man had strong arms revealing a strenuous life of manual labour. He was carrying a small cage containing two turtle doves. The young wife at his side held a new baby closely in her arms. It was obvious, they were new parents, and she was coming to complete the days of her purification, bringing an offering for herself and to present their child to God.
Suddenly Simeon knew! The Spirit prompted him, nudged him forward. This was not just any baby, this was the Promised One of Israel, the long awaited Messiah. Simeon moved as quickly as he could to intercept them. As he drew near, they smiled, new parents are like that, they like it when people notice their new baby.
“May I?” A quick look at Joseph, his nod, and the old man gently picked up the tiny infant. And then he began to speak… “Hallelujah, thank you Lord, may God be praised, Lord, we have waited for so long. Thank you, Lord for fulfilling Your Word to Your people…”
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.—Luke 2:28–33
May we marvel along with Joseph and Mary at the miracle and wonder of the Saviour’s birth. And may we like Simeon make haste to spend time in Christ’s presence. May God bless each of you this Christmas.