December 1, 2006

A Christmas Visit

The commotion was to be expected at this time of year. Caesar had declared a census and weary travelers had come from all over. This particular day, however, was no ordinary day during the time of the census. The temple floor was cool under my feet. I padded down toward the main courtyard where my friend Simeon watched. Stopping, and peering out from a corner, I could see him just sitting. His old frame looked calm, as he hunched. A bony chin rested on mature hands, and he looked patient. Wise eyes looked to and fro. People came and went, passed him by and some even stopped to say to hello. He smiled and sat quiet. My own elderly body was creaking as I thought to sit and rest for a moment as I watched this scene. I found myself seated on an old wooden chair and continued to watch. All of the sudden, I saw Simeon jump up, which was an amazing site in itself. Further down the way I could see a couple approaching. The young girl was hunched over slightly and sort of shuffling. She had her arm looped through a man’s, who was obviously her husband. He stood tall, and in his other arm, held a small bundle. Was this the day? So many families had come and gone through the years. How would we recognize God’s chosen? Simeon met the family. I wanted a glimpse of this child. I would have to move closer.

“Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” Simeon was praising God as he took the baby into his arms. His face glowed as he gently rocked the bundle and worshiped the Lord. Praise be to the Lord God, for fulfilling your promise to the prophets of old. Praise the Lord, who shows wonderful miraculous events to your prophet Anna.

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