Luke 2:22-40 - So Much More

Today 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.

This is 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:

Master, 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.

The 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...  

1. Exceeding Expectations
2. Doing the Unexpected
3. And Sharing in the Life we Know

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