Saturday, December 24, 2016 - Christmas Eve

Advent 2016

A Man in the Temple

"How Did You Know?"

 

            "Tell me, Simeon, how did you know?"  That was the question I asked you on that day, so long ago, in the courtyard of the Temple.  I was there, a young boy at my parents' side, and I witnessed you all by yourself, righteous and devout, deeply in prayer.  As the couple with their newborn entered the court, you rose and hastened to them, arms extended to receive the baby to your heart.  After many years I still recall your joyful blessing, "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."  And to his mother, "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.  And a sword will pierce your own soul too."

            As the priest blessed the baby, we learned his name was Jesus.  Many of us in the crowd watched the ceremony, the sacrifice of the doves, the circumcision, and the blessing of the infant.  My parents joined in the well-wishes to the family as they left to begin their new life.  But I watched you, Simeon, and your gaze never left Jesus.  Your blessing proclaimed him Messiah to all.  I just had to know so I ran over to you, looked up into your eyes, and asked, "How do you know?"  You smiled down at me but didn't speak.  Your hand fell softly upon my shoulder as you turned to leave.

            It was soon afterwards that you left us.  My parents lamented the death of such a loving and righteous man.  I grew up, married, and soon began a family of my own.  Jesus also grew and became a great rabbi.  I would take my family to hear him speak.  His words were profound and touched my soul deeply.  You were not here with us to witness how his life unfolded but the words you spoke did come to pass.  Surely the spirit of the Lord was with you that day.  And praise be to God for our Christ.

 

-- Doug Craig

 

 

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