When God leaves the message, the plan, the future, his very self, resting in our arms

HMPC on a winter Sunday morning

Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,

 “Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word,
     because my eyes have seen your salvation.”

Luke 2: 27-30

One of my favorite moments in the story of Jesus is when his parents take him to the Temple in Jerusalem to be “presented” to God. When the family is there they meet two elderly people, Simeon and Anna; both stand as important witnesses to truths we need to embrace.

I think more than anything else they embody the truth that patience is a hugely important part of our journey as believers.

We live in a cultural moment where everything seems to be measured in terms of “now.” There is a whole lot of emphasis on results and very little sense of process. The narrative of the scriptures, on the other hand, is deeply invested in faithfulness, and faithfulness over time.

Another important element of this story is the fact that all three persons of the Trinity are active and present. God’s Holy Spirit was very much part of how both Simeon and Anna experienced their faith in God. And they were both – in my understanding of the concept – very much “saved” inasmuch as they lived in active partnership with the Spirit, participating in God’s ongoing initiatives of grace, mercy, light, love, and redemption.

The Lord’s Supper:

I particularly enjoyed the fact that pastor Mac invited Rebekah to participate in the communion service. She offered the long pastoral prayer, she invited the people to the table (it’s an open table in the PC(USA), she presented the bread and the wine, and she served.

If it makes your heart glad to see Rebekah breaking the bread, and pouring the cup, then you are in good company. Here is just a short vignette:

I am getting a lot closer to Simeon’s age. And that’s okay, I don’t plan to check out any time soon! But, like Simeon, I am very much aware that “my eyes have seen your salvation.”

And, like Simeon, I have on occasion felt that I was holding Jesus in my arms when I cradled any one of our four grandchildren and held them close. David, Beks, Mr. T., Geoffrey.

– Rebekah serving the bread and the wine

We must be ready for God to rest with such intimacy and vulnerability in the strength of our arms. Because, in a very real sense, God is trusting each one of us with his message, his future here on this Earth, his plan for this world… his very self.

Yes, like Simeon, my eyes have seen God’s salvation. What I choose to do with this revelation is going to be critical to the next part of the plan.

Simeon. Anna. Derek. Rebekah. Mac. And, yes, you too. What are you/we going to do with this Jesus?


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