Reflection: The waves of news and shock and wonder have rolled in one after another up to this point: the angel to Zechariah, the angel to Mary, the birth of John, the birth of Jesus, the angels to the shepherds, the shepherds to the newborn Jesus, the shepherds through the streets. Here there is a pause. Here, in these verses, time stretches out and the arrival of baby Jesus at the temple is framed within the context of a man’s life, a faithful, obedient man who has been waiting his entire life for the consolation of Israel. It had been revealed to him that he would see the Messiah before he died.
Simeon lived so much in faith that his eyes could see double. And because he saw things through faith, that faith heard and responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to go to the temple and it was faith that leapt out in wonder when he saw – both with the eyes of faith and the eyes in his head – a small baby, only a week old, and he recognised the sign of God’s faithfulness and love for his people. All the years of wonder and waiting, the centuries of promises, the countless hearts bent toward the Lord, kneeling in wait for the fulfilment of his promises, was here, squirming in his mother’s arms. He sees the baby and he knows in that moment who he is, and what he has come to do for his people, nothing less than save them whole, rescue a ruined world to bring it back to the Father.
Simeon shows us the kind of second sight that faith can give. What would it look like to have a faith so ready to see and recognise the Lord as he has revealed himself to us?
Prayer: Lord, grow faith in you within me. Help me to steep my heart in your word, and give me the eyes of faith.