Reading: Luke 2: 22-40
Verses 29-30: “You now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation”.
In our passage from Luke, Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple to do all that the Law prescribes. He is presented, named, circumcised, consecrated, and redeemed. As devout Jews, Mary and Joseph obediently do as they should. After they return to Nazareth, we assume they continue follow all of the Law.
In the midst of the ordinary, Mary and Joseph encounter the extraordinary. In the middle of doing what all good parents of little Jewish baby boys do, something happens that did not happen to any of the other babies. Long before this day, Simeon and Anna had begun their vigil. Both were intimately connected to the Holy Spirit and both were very devout and righteous people.
Simeon was promised by God through the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Christ. Simeon clings to this hope year after year. Then one day he is “moved by the Spirit” and he goes to the temple. Simeon knows right away that Jesus is the one. He speaks words about Jesus that amaze Mary and Joseph. Anna spent all of her time in the temple courts, day and night, praying and fasting. She too is drawn to Jesus. She too knows that He is the one. Anna also tells Mary and Joseph about Jesus and that He will be the “redemption of Jerusalem”. Simeon utters these words that I am sure Ana felt as well: “You now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation”. They have seen the One and they depart in peace.
All people have a need for Jesus in their lives. Some know it yet deny it. Some search but can’t quite come to find Jesus. Others find Jesus and become like Simeon and Anna: filled with the Holy Spirit, content in finally knowing Jesus as their Lord and Savior, able to rest into His peace. Once we’ve found Jesus, we too echo Simeon’s words. We come to know Paul’s words too, knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God that we find in Jesus Christ. For our hope and for our redemption, we say thanks be to God today. Amen!