Luke 2: 28-33
Simeon took up the child Jesus in his arms and blessed God and said:
“Lord, now lettest thou they servant depart in peace, according to they word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou has prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to they people Israel.”
The father and the mother were marveled at what was said about the child.
When I come to die — Oh, let me die like Simeon.
I, too, have been a watchman, waiting for your coming. I knew the promise of your word. In your word was all my hope. But I sought to see you with my own eyes; so I stayed awake, watching, watching for your coming. O Lord, my soul waited for you more than they that watch for the morning; more, I say, than they that watch for the morning.
I heard it said among the disciples: “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see”—and I wanted so to be blessed! It was your voice among the disciples, saying: “For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Like 10:23-24).
I myself, I had heard. Sermons and personal declarations and the assurances of many believers, I had heard. But I had not seen. And I yearned, O Lord, to see your salvation.
I prayed, “Come!”
With the Spirit and the Bride I prayed, “Come!”
Since I was him who hears, I thundered, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”
Such was my Advent thirst and all my hunger: “Come.”
And then you did, O Lord! You came!
My Advent has been fulfilled in Christmas, and I see you!
Again this year that great and mighty wonder—a Virgin bearing an Infant—has seized my heart with its glorious love. You came into the world. You’ve come into my world! You came once, surely: two thousand years ago. But that has caused your coming still, daily, daily, morning by morning, for people like me.
And so I celebrated the feast of your Nativity this year with the softer passion of gratitude, and that — the gratitude itself — was proof of your presence.
“Blessed are the eyes which see what you see,” you said to the disciples. And what had they seen? In sequence, the same three things that I have seen (Luke 10:17-22):
- The effective power of your name in their mouths: “Even the demons are subject to us in your name!” they said, and you said: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority . . . over all the power of the enemy.”
I, too, have experienced in material fact the salvation of your name. For your contemporary disciples prayed for me, and I was surrounded by your love and the demons did not possess me. Those who believe in you uttered your name for my healing, and though the pain continued, it was changed. Satan could not use it to tempt me. Pain no longer dominated me, for you shared the pain, suffering it with me. Mine eyes have seen you: you have come.
2. And you said, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
There has grown in me this year again a genuine joy, O Jesus. A personal, deep down, inexpressible joy. Joy after loneliness. The joy of new relationship: for I am yours and I am God’s. My name is written in the Book of Life.
3. Then you thanked the Father that he had “hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes.”
As a baby myself — more needy than able, weaker than strong, foolish from failure, helpless and hungry — I’ve seen the sheer grace of your love: for I should be dead, but I live! I should despair, but during this Christmas too I’ve known moments of genuine peace. This cannot arise from me. It has to come as a gift from the Source of Life and Truth and Light and Bread and Love. It is visible proof of you.
Moreover, I have used your name among the Gentiles, and even now I see what light you are for them! My words became your angel to all people, testifying that you are the root and the offspring of David, the glory of Israel, the bright and morning star.