Simeon

Everyday he held onto God’s promise, not just the covenantal promise of the Messiah, but also the personal promise that he would not die before seeing the Christ…. A faithful, old man holding the hope of Israel and the world and experiencing God’s covenantal and personal faithfulness.

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This morning’s reading was from Luke 2:22-35. It’s about Simeon, a faithful and Spirit-filled man, who has spent his entire life longing for God’s Messiah. This portion of Scripture is all we know about Simeon. Everyday he held onto God’s promise, not just the covenantal promise of the Messiah, but also the personal promise that he would not die before seeing the Christ. As far as we know, his life was consumed with waiting, watching and anticipating the Messiah. And God blessed his life with his Spirit’s presence.

Then came that fateful day. Simeon is moved by the Spirit to go to the temple courts the same moment that Mary and Joseph bring the infant Jesus to be consecrated. (That fact alone is worth some serious contemplation.)

Can you imagine that moment? Can you imagine the emotions that flood Simeon? An entire lifetime climaxing in that moment when he held the infant. Promises of the past, hopes for the future, faithfulness in the present converging in a moment. That always seems to happen to those around Jesus.

The image at the side was done by Ron DiCianni and is called Simeon’s Moment. It’s one of my favorite portraits. A faithful, old man holding the hope of Israel and the world in his arms and experiencing God’s covenantal and personal faithfulness. I love how DiCianni captures the personal emotions on Simeon’s face while simultaneously unfold the moment’s fuller meaning with the map of the world.

Like my previous post about Sam and Frodo, Luke the Gospel writer and Ron DiCianni retell an age-old story that sweeps me away into something epic.

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