December 26

The Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” Genesis 2:18 

Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God saying, “Master now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people.” Luke 2:28-30 

Waiting is so hard. Waiting for Christmas to finally get here is something we do every year. We began our church year with four weeks of Advent where we take time to focus on our need for a savior and look forward to the excitement of Christmas. Now, Christmas has come, we sang the carols and worshipped and opened presents and ate food with friends and family. Then it is all over, or is it? Do we start all over Christmas is certainly more than just one day year. 

Simeon has been waiting for years and years, for his whole life, to see the promised Messiah. Luke implies that he is quite old and death is probably near. He is described in Luke as righteous and devout, filled with the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit has revealed to him that he would be able to see the Messiah before the time of his death. Simeon is guided by the Spirit to be in the temple when Joseph and Mary arrive 40 days after Jesus’ birth for their purification and their baby’s presentation to the Lord. Simeon sees the Messiah that he has been waiting for and takes the baby in his arms. His time of waiting is over, God has done what was promised, and Simeon can now die in peace.   

Jesus’ parents must have been a bit surprised at this older man coming up to them, holding their son, and then declaring that this baby is the salvation of Israel. And, not just Israel, but “all people” are part of God’s saving work. What Simeon has spent his whole life waiting for has now occurred. Salvation has come in the form of a baby, one born in a manger, to simple ordinary faithful people. In the midst of all the worry and anxiety that must have been present in their country under Roman occupation, there is now hope for all. As Luke says later on in the gospel “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 1910). Just like Simeon, we have all been privileged through the grace of God to see the child in the manger and know that He is the savior of all. 

God of love, thank you for sending your Son to be with us so we are never alone. Thank you for holding us so dearly. Stay with us always, for we cannot live alone. Embrace us when we need your touch. Gaze into our souls each time we need reassurance, and speak your promises until we see your salvation. We can only offer our thanks and praise to you In Christs name we pray. Amen 

Chris Gabel