is a day of new beginnings. The first day of a new year. Let me ask you a
question: Have you ever looked forward to something and when it happened, it was
so much more than you anticipated? Maybe this was your experience at the time of
your marriage or the birth of your first child. We all have dreams that we live
into. We all have dreams that call us to get up in the morning and lead our
lives. Some examples in history are
dramatic, for instance David Livingstone, the explorer and missionary to central
Africa in the mid-1800s set out to see what no other European had seen.
What Livingstone saw was so much more than he could imagine. In his
journal he tells about his discovery of the great falls, which he named the
Victoria Falls, and what that experience meant to him. He had heard from the
natives that there was something up the river, but he was not sure what it was.
He could hear the roar of the falls for miles and he could see the spray five
miles away. He said he could never explain the splendor that fell upon his soul
when he looked on the falls for the first time. Suddenly, right before his eyes,
the Zambezi River was a mile wide; it sloped slightly and then cascaded in a
400-foot plunge in a display of awesome splendor. He said for several minutes
the sight literally paralyzed him. He knew that something was ahead but his
discovery was far beyond his wildest imagination.
exactly what happened to Simeon in the text. He knew the Messiah was coming and
he waited and prayed for the day to arrive. He was told by the Holy Spirit that
he would not see death until he would see the Lord's Messiah. Every time parents
brought their children to the Temple he was filled with anticipation that
possibly one of them was the child he was waiting for. Then Mary and Joseph
arrived at the Temple and Simeon, now an old man, took the child up into his
arms and praised God saying:
now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my
eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all peoples.
scene is a moving one: an old man now ready to die holding a six-week-old baby,
who is at long last "the salvation for all people." You see, even
though Jesus was only an infant, God was already at work in Jesus...
2. Doing the Unexpected
3. And Sharing in the Life we Know