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The Christmas Story: Simeon

“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.1

There he was every Sunday, faithful at his post and waiting to greet each person by name. Big or small, he knew everyone and addressed them by first name, with eye contact and a firm handshake. When I was a teenager, he was ‘Mr. Thompson’ who I saw each Sunday as I walked into the building, standing in the doorway of the church lobby with a ready smile, extending his calloused hand toward me. I knew I could count on his salutation week after week. When, as an adult, I moved to another city and attended a new church, a new, albeit worn, smile greeted me for the next several years. Just as faithful at his post, waiting to greet the old and the new was ‘Mr. Ferrin’; and just like the former, he too, knew everyone’s name that passed through those doors every church day.

In Bethlehem, it was ‘Mr. Simeon’ who week after week greeted those who entered the temple to worship; except that he wasn’t just greeting those who arrived, he was faithfully waiting for a special person to come through those temple doors. Simeon, who was “righteous and devout”, had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would see the Messiah before he died. And so, at the temple he waited for the One who would come to save the people from their sin. And then it happened! One bright morning the Holy Spirit alerted him, “Today was the day!”. He went into the temple courts, probably greeting all as he went by, frantically searching for his Savior. When he saw Him, just a baby in his mother’s embrace, Simeon went to Him and took him in his arms and lifted his voice in praise! For years Simeon had searched every face for the Messiah and when he finally met Jesus, he cried out to God: “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised...”

Simeon’s faithfulness to the Lord brought him the greatest of blessings, meeting the Savior face to face. It was all he had waited for his entire life, and he remained faithful and upright until the Lord’s promise to him was fulfilled. The men who faithfully greeted every person at their own temple doors have also gone on to meet their Savior face to face. What honor their faithfulness brought them, too!

This Christmas, as you greet those you come in contact with, faithfully seek the Savior in every face, because the Messiah is indeed coming! Let us remain faithful at our post.

Suggested Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, we have seen and heard examples of your blessings being poured out on those who are faithful to you, those that seek you with their whole heart. Today, I ask that you allow me to seek you in the crowd, to find opportunities to serve others as if they were you. Allow your Christmas Spirit to flow through me to others that they might see you in me, also. In Jesus’ Holy name, Amen.

  1. Luke 2:25.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.