Come to the Manger: Tuned in to God

Luke 2:25-35 25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God…

When I read this account of Simeon, I am humbled. The picture here is that of a very old man. In fact, it appears that God has extended his life longer than most of his peers since he had such a desire to see the long-awaited Messiah. This man is in tune with God!

  • He is righteous. He was in a right standing with God. There was nothing between them.
  • He is devout. The Greek word here is “eulabees” meaning intentional in keeping every sacred requirement. In other words, Simeon was religious for all the right reasons!
  • He is alert. The picture here is of someone looking intently but with patience for a person they love to arrive. Have you ever stood at the airport with excitement in your chest, adrenaline surging through your body, and eyes vigilant looking for someone you can hardly wait to see? This is the picture of Simeon waiting for the arrival of the promised Christ.
  • He is Holy Spirit controlled. He was a living representation of God in his world. When people met Simeon they knew there was something different and supernatural about Him. God was living in and through Him in extraordinary ways.

When I reflect on the nature of Simeon, I am reminded of how radical our faith should be. Here was a man whose entire life was bent on seeing Jesus! It’s what He lived for every day! As a result, God blessed Him greatly for it…and fulfilled His desire.

Are you bent on seeing Jesus? I must admit, with regret, that I am often taken up by the temporal things of our world so that I overlook the essential things of God. How easy to drift through life like a ship without a rudder not knowing where we are headed. How normal to be focused on the things we can see, hear, touch, and smell while we overlook the mystical and divine. What a tragedy to be so earth-bound that we overlook heaven’s gifts.

Simeon was in tune with God. He was careful to hear the Heavenly Father’s gentle promptings. Even though there were many in that temple the day Jesus arrived for His ceremonial circumcision, Simeon and Anna were the only ones on record who recognized Jesus as the Christ. Simeon was in tune with God.

So—Christmas is coming. We can get so caught up in the temporal things of Christmas that we actually overlook Jesus. I’m ashamed of how many Christmases I have sighed with relief when it was over. I failed to meet Jesus in those seasons because my focus was wrong, I failed to seek Jesus. I was not in tune with God at all. The stresses of the season squeezed out any interaction with the Christ-child.

Do you want to come to the manger this Christmas? Would you like to gaze into the face of the Christ-child? Do you long for that experience of wonder more than any other like Simeon? Then choose to take that journey. Whatever it takes, choose to take that journey…

ACTION: Write out a brief but honest prayer to God about how much you want to meet Jesus this Christmas.