Christmas is a time of great expectations, which most of us understand well from our childhood when we knew we would get some presents, but what would they be? So many famous stories are built on this theme. The prophet Simeon had a great expectation, for God had told him he would not die until he had seen the Messiah, the One to rescue Israel.
Our son has an original instrumental “Simeon’s Carol” in a recent Christmas album, and our daughter has a painting by DiCianni of Simeon blessing Jesus in his arms, hanging on her wall. I, too, have thought about Simeon. Was he young, or old when he received this revelation? How long had he waited? What was his Messiah “theology” beforehand? When young, this would have been an exhilarating thought whenever it hit him, this could be the day. The usual assumption is that he had waited long. When old, I wonder if he was ever tempted to view this waiting as anything but a blessing.
On the day of baby Jesus’ dedication Luke tells us that “the Spirit led him to the Temple”. I see Simeon as now old, and with some infirmities that made it difficult for him to get to the Temple routinely, as had been his habit when younger. But on this day he knew he must go. Simeon’s song of praise and his prophecy to Mary reveal that then he had been shown a great vision of his true Messiah, not only as a baby but as “a Light to reveal God to the nations”. His expectations were met beyond his comprehension by seeing Jesus.
I know this too is true for me, as for any believer in Jesus. Seeing Jesus in, throughout, behind, above, … use any preposition relative to any aspect of life, allows Him to meet our expectations in ways we may never have envisioned.