Learning from Simeon

Simeon is another of the important characters in the Christmas story from whom we can learn lessons that apply in grief. He was an old dude who loved the Lord and worshipped regularly. The Holy Spirit had revealed that he would see the Messiah before his death. So he was in the temple waiting. Then, when Joseph and Mary brought their new baby to the temple (to take care of the required rituals), Simeon immediately recognized Him for who He is! Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God! “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared..: a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.” Simeon blessed the parents and the Child, and mentioned to the Lord that it would be ok to go ahead and die since he’s now seen the promised Messiah. That was all he needed. (Luke 2:22-35) Simeon heard God’s promise. He waited and waited expectantly. He worshipped during the waiting years!! And he was rewarded with seeing and holding the Messiah.

Let’s look at some parallels with your lives. God has made some promises to you. God is Love. He says He controls all things. He is good all the time. Do you hear the promises? And yet your child died. Can you wait until He clears up this mystery that all these things can be true at the same time? Do you expect Him to help you understand any of it? Can you worship Him in the meantime? No matter how long that might take? For Simeon and for many other biblical characters, they might not have received direct answers but they got to know God more intimately. Simeon met face to face with the promised Messiah. The Messiah wants to be intimate with you too. If you see Him, will you recognize Him? Simeon kept himself ready all the time. Would it be comforting if you did see Him that intimately? Would it be enough? It was for Simeon. He was ready to die after this. Life was complete.

What about you? Can you wait? Can you expect Him to enter into your grief and confusion? To enter in with comfort and maybe even some understanding? Can you worship anyway until some of that comes?

The Messiah has come into human history, but he will make his presence known to you individually because he promises to be with you on your journey through the valley of the shadow. The Messiah came with a purpose – to reveal Himself to Gentiles as well as to Israel. Because He was born, He could accomplish His full plan to redeem us and open the gates of heaven for us. Because He was born, you have the hope that your child is safe and happy in heaven. Because He was born, you can look forward to being with Jesus and your child too, if you listen to the promises and wait expectantly and worship in the meantime. Simeon felt life was complete. May the coming of Jesus the Messiah give you comfort too until you see Him face to face.