Day 17: Our Hearts revealed

Luke 2:22-35

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles,and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, 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.”

Simeon is only mentioned once in the Nativity story, but his small role is significant. Here is a man who was “righteous and devout” – he was considered a good and Godly man, waiting patiently for his heavenly father to help Israel as He had promised through the prophets so long ago. He also knew that he would live to see the coming Messiah so when the Holy Spirit prompted him, he went to the temple.

Mary and Joseph had travelled there to perform the usual customs that the Jewish law required after a birth, yet they got more than they expected that day! Simeon was waiting and we can only imagine his delight and joy in finally seeing the baby Jesus, the Son of God Himself. He took the boy in his arms and praised God, also prophesying a little of what was to come for both the baby and also for Mary. The passage tells us that even after angelic visits, dreams, stars, shepherds and kings, Mary and Joseph were amazed about what Simeon said!
In many ways Simeon’s experience can parallel our own. As followers of Christ we have the Holy Spirit in us just as Simeon did, and we eagerly await the return of the Messiah based upon His promises to us. Our challenge therefore is to also be “righteous and devout” in our waiting. We must continually seek the will of God for ourselves and for others, and to live justly following the example that Jesus set.
This Christmas as we consider the Coming King let us wait patiently but actively, being His ambassadors as both good and Godly people living out His Kingdom.
Jon Jolly