Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 2, 2021
Simeon took him in 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 in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:28-32 (NRSV)
As an American living in a democratic republic, I’ve spent my entire life observing people make the case for why they should be in positions of power or leadership. Politicians run on a platform of experience, education, outside endorsement, and a unique vision that sets them apart from the pack. Their right to be heard must be earned.
By contrast, royalty requires no convincing or campaigning. When an heir to the throne is born, though they may be a small and vulnerable child, they are immediately honored and venerated as a person of unrivaled significance. They have done nothing to earn it, yet it is indisputably theirs by birth.
Jesus Christ is neither a politician nor a self-made man but is the uncreated king and ruler of the world. As the classic Christmas carol reminds us, “Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,” is the only true identity of Christ, regardless of whatever else we may say or think of him. And while many people in history, ancient and modern, have been blinded to the true identity of Christ, today in Luke 2 we remember one man who forever stands as an example for us all.
Simeon was a faithful God-fearing man who lived his entire life longing to see the fulfillment of the promises of God. Specifically, the Holy Spirit had promised that he would not taste death until he saw with his own eyes the deliverance of God for Jew and Gentile alike (Luke 2:26). And so, with a heart of expectant wonder, he approached Jesus, the helpless babe, and immediately took the posture of a servant greeting their master and Lord, seeing clearly the true identity of this child.
As we come out of the Christmas season and look ahead to a new year, let us do so with clarity of vision and the humility of a servant seeking nothing but fidelity to their master. Framed slightly differently, in the midst of setting goals and establishing resolutions for the coming year, at the top of the list choose, like Simeon, to long for nothing more than to see Jesus, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:32).
Father, thank you for the faithful witness of Simeon. May we, like him, adopt postures of humble servants and greet him as our Master and King. Amen.
What is your posture towards Jesus?
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