One day, the Gift of all gifts was carried into a public space.
Although the Gift could have come with a transcendence too glorious for human eyes,
It came instead in the arms of a young Jewish woman.
No one noticed,
For the Gift was small,
No one was looking for a Gift that day. . .
No one but Simeon.
We don’t know when Simeon’s vigil began or how he discerned that the wait was finally over,
But he was there, standing watch at the Jerusalem Temple.
His life had been lived in anticipation of an arrival, and
His leading was no less compelling than an angel appearance,
For the Spirit was upon him,
Communicating with him, and
Compelling him to take his post.
With roots planted in the thin soil between the Testaments,
Somehow Simeon grew to hear the voice of God.
Did it come with audible clarity?
Or was it more like a raised eyebrow,
A nod, or the lift of a chin to point in a certain direction?
Seeing the Child,
Simeon sang his dismissal from duty,
a new psalm from Jewish lips
with lyrics of hope that moved beyond
the great salvation of Mary’s song;
With a wider circle even than
Zacharias’s anthem of redemption and blessing.
Simeon’s cameo appearance trumpeted
Revelation to the Gentiles AND
Glory to Israel,
A Divine Fiat of both/and,
Intended to rebuke an either/or culture that had all but forgotten Old Testament prophecies of Light to the Gentiles.
“How silently, how silently the Wondrous Gift was given,”
for even now, the Gift of all gifts goes unseen and unheard.
We are out for flashing lights,
Our gifts are mired in the moment, and
The lyrics to our songs get it all wrong.
After all, a message with a sword running through it is hard on the ears.
Mission fulfilled, Simeon was dismissed from his post,
But his shadowy sword-words concerning those who would “speak against” the Babe in his arms came to pass, and the sword would, indeed, flash through Mary’s heart,
Leaving the human race still divided, but along a new fissure–
the line between darkness and light.
Unbelievably, my eyes, too, have seen God’s salvation
And Simeon’s words, spoken over a tiny Baby, have been fulfilled:
Jesus has revealed the true God and the true Way.
The question is, are we
ready to welcome Christ as He really is?
Celebrating the Season of Advent with Joy,
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