This day after Christmas has been a nice “snow day.” Debbie returned to work and I have spent most of the day working on our New Year’s Newsletter. I’m glad that all of our supplies arrived in time for us to get it out before the New Year dawns. I am thankful that I have felt good today was well.
This Christmas we missed being with Stephanie and her family. We would have normally traveled to Atlanta this year, but Debbie’s work schedule did not allow that to happen. But we did visit by phone and “facetime” and received a picture of the Atlanta grand-kids by their tree.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “…there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ….he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:“Lord…my eyes have seen Your salvationWhich You have prepared before the face of all peoples,A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:25,26, 28-32
Of all those who visited the baby Jesus, Simeon and Anna who greeted the child in Jerusalem seem to be overlooked. We recall, repeat and sing about the account of angels appearing to the shepherds and the star that lead the wise men to the new born baby. But it seems the encounter in Jerusalem at the Temple with Simeon and Anna is almost an afterthought.
However, when we stop and consider the events they are most remarkable. Simeon’s words are almost like an “infant dedication” that we would see in a church service today. He blessed the child and admonished the parents. Also of note is no Angel appeared to Simeon, not outward sign or manifestation directed Him. Simeon is referred to as “just and devout.” But there is no indication of any official role that he had, such as priest or Levite or scribe. What we are only told that Simeon walked closely with the Lord and was directed by the Holy Spirit. Just like John pointing to Jesus years later and saying, “behold the Lamb of God” somehow the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon, “this is the One!” No angel, no dream, no star.
This event is an important aspect of the events around the birth of Christ. We see Him declared by angels to the shepherds, and revealed by the Holy Spirit to Simeon. In three verses the work of the Holy Spirit is mentioned three times in Simeon’s life. “The Holy Spirit was upon Him” “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit…” “…he came by the Spirit into the Temple…”
I am challenged by the life of Simeon. I can’t think of anyone else, other than Jesus, that scripture notes, “the Holy Spirit was upon Him.” We see the disciples baptized in and ministering through the power of the Holy Spirit, but that was after Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit is upon an individual, God reveals Himself and “things” to them. For Simeon, it was that he would not die before He laid his eyes on the Messiah. The Holy Spirit directs our lives. The Holy Spirit provides insight. Of all those who encountered the Christ-child, Simeon’s word are the only ones recorded in scripture. The notable statement of Simeon’s is, “…..a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles..”
The Messiah was coming to restore the Kingdom of Israel. Jews weren’t concerned about the Gentiles, because they were outside of the covenant of God. As a matter of fact one of the great controversies in the Book of Acts took place when Gentiles placed their faith in Jesus. But the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon what the angels declared to the shepherds, the birth of Christ would bring, “great joy to all people.”
Don’t just be awed at angels appearing to shepherds and a star guiding the wise men, but be amazed at how the Holy Spirit divinely directed and honored the life of a man named Simeon. And then be open to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life today.