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Paint That Picture.

December 6, 2011

My wife and I were engaged for about eleven months before we got married.  And during the course of those eleven months, we attended worship services in the very sanctuary that our wedding would take place, at least forty times.  We sat in the pews, heard the sermons, sang the hymns, and patiently endured through the months of waiting for the day to arrive.  Through all of the wedding showers, and parties, and thank you cards…each Sunday, we would return to that sanctuary to worship…and wait.

 If you have a Bible…and I really hope you do…take it out and read through Luke 2:25-35.

 Now, we don’t have all of the details of Simeon’s life.  But, we can see in verse 25 that he was in Jerusalem and that he was “righteous and devout.”  He was waiting for the consolation, the comforting of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  He was one of those guys that “there’s just something about.”  Then, verse 26 says, “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.”  Okay…so Simeon has got something to look forward to.  Simeon has got some expectations in his life.  He has this future event that he knows is out there, he knows is going to happen, but he doesn’t know when it’s going to happen.  So instead of sitting in his home waiting for it to come, he pursues it.

 Can you imagine how many times Simeon visited the temple with that hopeful anticipation of finding the Christ there?  We have no way of knowing, so it is pure conjecture, but you can imagine him making as many trips as possible in hopes that today…this day…would be the day. 

 Each Sunday, when we would sit in the sanctuary during the worship service, I would be reminded of the day that was coming.  I was reminded of the day that we would walk in there…in fancier clothes…and make a covenant before God to be husband and wife for as long as we both shall live.  It was something to look forward to.  It was something that we knew was going to happen…and even though we knew the date…the anticipation of what was coming made us even more aware of what was happening in the present.

 Then, on one of his trips to the temple, he saw what he had been waiting for.  He saw, in the arms of a young mother, a baby that would simply change everything.  And so, “he took him up in his arms and blessed God.”  Can you imagine the feeling of joy that washed over him?  This man, Simeon, one who had been made such a great promise, one who had trusted faithfully, and waited patiently, saw salvation with his own eyes.  Of course he blessed God.  There was no more waiting.  No more looking around.  No more strange looks from random mothers when he was staring incessantly at the newborns in their arms.  Salvation was here.  Salvation is here.

 I can remember the moment that the doors at the back of the church opened.  She looked beautiful (and for the record, she always does).  I’ll never forget that day…that day that we had waited for…that day when a promise I made, and a promise she made, became a covenant with each other.  Simeon, in that moment when he took the Christ child into his arms, held the promise of God in his very hands.  He held redemption.  He held reconciliation.  He held hope…and comfort…and joy.  In that moment, Simeon held salvation.  What a beautiful picture.  What a moment in time.  What a reminder for us of the promise of God to save us.  Simeon got to hold the Savior…something I’m sure he never forgot.  By the grace of God, we get to receive His salvation…something we should always remember.

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