A dream comes true
Simeon took the child (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying, “Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me,...” Luke 2:28-29
As we follow Luke’s recounting of the Christmas story, it is important to include the portion of a wise old Jewish saint named Simeon, who was also one of the first to see and hold the baby Jesus.
Through the advent season, we have looked forward to the celebration of Christmas with all its expectations, dreams and wishes. Our dreams and wishes are very important to us. All of us have them. Not just dreams that come at night in our deep sleep, but also dreams and musings of hopes and wishes that we have for lifethose things that we look forward to with great anticipation.
During the mid 1800s, many men and women looked forward to moving west into the new territory beyond the Mississippi. A favorite TV program that still is daily syndicated, “Little House on the Prairie,” visualizes for us the dreams of families as they set up new homes in the unsettled territory of southern Minnesota. They followed their dreams, hoping to have their lifelong wishes met.
The people of Israel also had lifelong dreams and wishes. They longed for a Messiah who would come to deliver them and be their Prince of Peace.
In Luke’s gospel, Simeon is just such a person. He was a devout Jew, who regularly went to the temple to pray. He was old and wise and understood the prophecies of God.
There were a few people in Judah at that time known as the “Quiet in the Land” who did not have the goal of a violent revolution, but instead believed in a life of constant prayer and quiet watchfulness for God’s promised Messiah.
Simeon was one of them, but he did have a dream and a hope. He hoped to see the Messiah, the anointed one. God had revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. It became Simeon’s lifelong dream to see the Prince of Peace.
When Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple on the eighth day, Simeon took Jesus in his arms and blessed God. Simeon’s dreams were realized; his hopes and wishes were fulfilled. The Messiah had come.
As we share in the celebration of this Christmas season, it is important for us to remember that God keeps his promises. We all have dreams and hopes concerning our spiritual life. God’s Word tells us that the answers to our wishes are fulfilled when we receive Jesus into our hearts.
As you reflect this week on the meaning of this Christmas season, I hope that, like Simeon, this will be a special time when you embrace the Lord’s Christ.