Faithfulness Rewarded

Simeon awoke with a smile on his face. “In my calculations it’s been forty days since the angels appeared to the shepherds near Bethlehem. Are You coming today, my Lord?”

A peace filled his soul as he dressed and ate breakfast. “Yes, today I shall see my redeemer face-to-face.”

He left his cane by the door when he exited and marched to the temple. The smile never left his countenance. He scanned the people mulling around the outer courtyard. The young couples held his attention the longest. Nothing in him stirred from looking at them so he entered the outer court of women.

The confusion today seemed higher than normal, but Simeon kept searching the throngs. He almost felt a tap on his shoulder, so he spun around. His gaze landed on the couple carrying a baby and a cage with two doves. “I’m here.” He knew only he could hear that voice.

Simeon was glad the young man seemed transfixed on the architecture of the temple. He didn’t want to lose them in this crowd. The girl was reaching up stroking the soft beard when Simeon arrived.

Without introduction Simeon lifted the child from the mother’s arm.

Joseph stepped in his direction. “Simeon?”

A tear landed on the blanket. “I can now die in peace since I have seen the redemption of Israel with my eyes. You shall be a light to the Gentiles, little One.”

Simeon lightly stroked the child’s cheek. The infant suckled as He slept.

The old man looked at the couple. “This One will cause many in Israel to rise and fall, He’ll be spoken against and will reveal many heart-motives.”

He gazed into the mother’s eyes and lowered his eyebrows. “A sword will pierce your soul.”

A thin old woman approached the gathering. “Is that Him, Simeon?”

Simeon stepped up to her and slipped the child in her arms. “Yes, Anna. The Savior has arrived. Do you want to hold Him?”

Anna took a half-step back. “No, I might drop…”

She shook as Jesus was placed in her embrace. “He’s so perfect.”

Joseph chuckled. “Yes, He literally is.”

Her tear fell on His cheek. Jesus fussed, but never awoke.

“I’m sorry, my Lord. The last thing I want to do is make You upset.”

Anna gave Jesus back to Mary. Then she grabbed the sleeve of a man walking by. “He’s here! The Lord is here today. Salvation has come to us.”

The man glanced at Mary. “I’m sorry, we’re in a hurry. We have a store to run. We must make our sacrifices quickly.”

Anna did her best to introduce Jesus to as many as would believe her. Some approached the family. Others waved in their direction. Many tried their best to avoid the crazy old lady.

*****

Don’t you just love God all the more when He chooses to hold up two used-up old people in the Christmas story?

Neither Simeon nor Anna were born into the priestly tribe. Yet, both of them spent their time in the temple.

Simeon, we’re told, was filled with the Holy Spirit when that was out-of-the-ordinary. Anna was called a prophetess. I’d say they were upstanding citizens in God’s eyes.

God gave them the spotlight when they acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah in His infancy. That’s what made them so unusual.

The sad part of this is the fact that two centuries after this event it’s still out of the norm to acknowledge who Jesus is.

Even after Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, healed many diseases and raised people from the dead, most folks won’t believe what Anna insisted is true.

The most amazing feature of Jesus is the fact He raised himself from the dead. Yeah, let that soak into your psyche.

Sadly most people don’t think about that occurrence much, if at all. I guess that’s what separates those of us empowered by the Holy Spirit now and those who aren’t.

“So, if Jesus already came to earth as the Messiah is there anything left for us to look forward to?”

I’m glad you asked. Because the answer is a resounding “YES.”

We haven’t seen the last of Jesus on this earth. Not by a long-shot.

The first time Jesus came to us He came in humility as a baby to offer himself as the sacrifice we needed to bridge the gap created by sin. That gap is in our relationship with God.

If you want a personal relationship with the creator of the universe you must acknowledge your lack of ability to reach God on your own efforts. The perfectly holy God can’t commune with imperfect people.

That’s why God came down as one of us, Jesus. The man, Jesus, never sinned when He lived with us. That’s what made Him the only sacrifice acceptable to God to mediate between God and us.

For those of us who accept Jesus’ death as the substitutionary death we deserved to die, and believe His resurrection from the dead proves His power over our greatest enemy, we’re given an adoption into God’s personal family.

We can now take advantage of God’s Holy Spirit in us to help us overcome sin’s control over us. Our new life’s purpose is to become more like Jesus in everything we do.

You may also see some of us straining an ear to hear a trumpet blast. If you catch us glancing at the eastern sky its because we’re anticipating Jesus coming back to establish the kingdom He’ll rule on earth.

Before that happens many of us are yearning for Jesus to take us home suddenly so we’ll avoid the cataclysm that’ll occur before that time.

You see, Simeon and Anna aren’t the last people to look for Jesus to come to them. I’m looking, too.

I hope you join me in this effort.

Look me up when we get to heaven. Don’t worry about running out of time once we get there.

We’ll have all eternity to be introduced.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

I’m a truck driver turned writer. My writing drives people to Jesus.
I love sunsets/sunrises, dark chocolate, coffee, cats and dogs (as long as their owners pick up after them) and solitude. My relationship with God through Jesus Christ is most important to me, not a religion. This writing gig is all God’s idea. I only wish to bring more attention to Jesus with it.