This week we continue the season of Advent by focusing on love. Our 2009 Advent theme is “The Songs of Christmas,” and each week we’ll be looking at a song from the gospel of Luke surrounding the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Our song this week comes from Luke 2:29-32. This is Simeon’s song, which he sang the day he held baby Jesus in his arms in the temple:
29 “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.”
This week we focus on the love of Christ. Simeon was most likely elderly. He had served the Lord well over the years. In fact, the Bible calls him righteous and devout. He seems to have been a simple man, and in his later years, he had single-mindedness that drove him on. You see, the Holy Spirit was heavy upon him and had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. You can bet that with each passing day, Simeon grew more and more excited because he knew that his own life was getting shorter. Therefore, the sight of the Messiah had to be right around the corner.
As was the custom, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple eight days after he was born to be circumcised and named. That same day, Simeon came into the temple in the Spirit of the Lord, and behold, there indeed was the Messiah. Who knows what Simeon had expected to see? Was he surprised when he saw that the Messiah was only a baby at this point? Maybe, but he didn’t pass up the opportunity to take Jesus into his arms—holding him, hugging him, and continuously giving thanks to God.
In his arms was the manifest love of God. We know from John 3:16 that God displays His love to the world by giving it His only-begotten Son Jesus. Simeon was holding God’s love! In Jesus is salvation for the Jew and the Gentile alike, for all who will believe on Him. It’s not a love that’s here today and gone tomorrow. For all who will believe on Jesus, it is a love that began before creation, climaxes at the cross, and stretches forever into the future.
As we behold Jesus, may we with Simeon say, “My eyes have seen Your salvation,” and then embrace Jesus.