Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
Luke 2: 25-32
The Ninth Gift of Christmas: A Promise
Much of the Christmas story we frequently discuss begins and ends in Bethlehem. But there is so much more to this beautiful tale! Gems of God’s goodness lie before and long after that baby is born.
One of the most precious parts of this story takes place when Jesus is old enough to go to the temple for the first time. It was customary in that age to present children at the temple. When Mary and Joseph arrived with their bundle of joy, there was a man there who had been waiting for their arrival. And he had been waiting a very long time.
Simeon, a devout man, had been promised that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. He believed the prophecies of the coming Lord and faithfully trusted that God would keep His word. When Jesus entered the temple courts, Simeon knew at once that the promise had been kept. He was holding his long-awaited Savior.
It’s a beautiful story and another example of how Christmas is indeed about all of us. It’s unlikely that Mary and Joseph even knew about this promise. They didn’t know Simeon or the promise God had made to him regarding their baby boy. God, in His gracious mercy, showed love and faithfulness to Simeon by keeping His promise. In so doing, He once again proves that this Christmas blessing—this Savior—came for the world.
Today, countless families around the world have no idea from where their next meal will come. They don’t know how they will keep their unspoken promises to their children to love, protect, and provide for them. You can help these families keep those promises by giving a goat or sheep or another animal to them. This gift will ensure that they can have a meal today and income tomorrow. It is a tangible promise. And you have the power to give it to a family in need today.
Father, thank you so much for being a faithful keeper of promise and truth. Thank you for remembering all of your children at Christmas time and the rest of the year. Father, I pray for continued wisdom and faith to listen to you for provision for my own family. I also pray that you help me help other parents keep that same promise of protection and provision to their children. Father, take my small gifts and work it in your holy ways so that Your sheep are fed, and You are glorified.