Tonight at church I read this monologue I wrote from the perspective of Simeon from the book of Luke. I hope it's a blessing to you.
I remember everything about that day. It was just any other day. It’s one that I had experienced many times before, but this time was different. You would think at my age I would have done and seen it all, but never had I seen this. I entered the temple, just like I had hundreds or thousands of times before. Some would say I spent most of my time there, but where else should an old man wait for the Messiah?
It had been been a long time since I had heard that word from the Lord. The word that I would live long enough to see the Messiah. It had been long enough that I had was wondering if I was maybe beginning to doubt. But nevertheless I went to the temple like I had so many times before.
There was a large strapping Jewish man, with a smile as wide as the Eastern Gates. He seemed to be a friend to everyone he saw, and everyone was glad to see him. “Surely this must be the messiah”, I wondered? But I heard nothing. I loved the sights and smells of the temple. Animals bleating, baby’s crying, and children laughing all mixed with the sounds of the priests, the smells of incense, the burning of the altars, and the prayers of those calling out to God. Over there by himself was a little man calling out to God in prayer. Not much to look at, I’ll admit, but fervent in prayer. Maybe He is the one who the Lord has brought to deliver Israel from bondage. But there was no answer from the Lord. He did bring to my mind, as he had many times before, the story of Samuel picking out David from his brothers. If the mighty prophet Samuel could miss the great and future King, then I sure could as well. Open my eyes Lord, so that I may see the Savior! I longed for the salvation of Israel. As an old man I knew that I would probably die with Israel still in bondage, but I longed to at least see the deliverer. O Israel! How long will you stay in bondage! I echoed the prayer of our prophet Isaiah in chapter 64.
[Isa 64:1-12 NASB] 1 Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence-- 2 As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil-- To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! 3 When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. 4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. 5 You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. Behold, You were angry, for we sinned, We continued in them a long time; And shall we be saved? 6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities. 8 But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD, Nor remember iniquity forever; Behold, look now, all of us are Your people. 10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and beautiful house, Where our fathers praised You, Has been burned by fire; And all our precious things have become a ruin. 12 Will You restrain Yourself at these things, O LORD? Will You keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?
As I turned around I bumped into a young family. Obviously out of their element in the big city temple, they would have been more at home in a smaller town. But I guessed that newborn they carried was the reason they found themselves in the temple. It made my old heart smile. A blessed sight to see the people of Israel continue to dedicate their children to the Lord, even if Israel continued in bondage.
Then I heard him. The Holy Spirit spoke to me: “This is the one.” This man, or this woman I wondered? No there was no doubt. It was this child. I did not understand, and I could not predict it, but this was the one. Without a word I swept the child from his mothers arms and held him tight. The spirit overwhelmed me and I spoke.
"Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel.”
His parent’s stood in amazement, but not total surprise. It was almost as if it was not the first time someone had marveled over this baby. The spirit continued to speak, this time through me to these young parents. As I held the Messiah, the savior in my arms, I warned them.
[Luk 2:34-35 NASB] 34 …”Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed-- 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul--to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
Little did this mother know the heartache she would see, her own son hung on a tree for crimes he did not commit. Many would oppose this young child, even King Herod would be threatened by Him. But his mission was greater than this family, greater than the Roman Empire. Someday this child would rule an empire that crossed not only rivers, mountains, and oceans, but time and space and history.
But all that would have to wait. The messiah fussed, and I handed him back to his mother as they went on talking amongst themselves. This old man could rest easy tonight. I had seen the messiah. Salvation was near for Israel. Salvation would soon walk and talk among them. If only they could see it.