This Sunday we will be reading Luke’s story of Joseph and Mary presenting Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:22-38). I’d like to share with you Michael Card’s reflection on the moment Simeon takes baby Jesus in his arms and begins to sing:
There the Holy Baby was, cradled in His Mother’s arms. What must have gone through Simeon’s mind when God pointed out His Promised One. “There He is, the one with the dirty diaper.” Simeon was wise enough to expect the unexpected from the Lord. He went straight to Joseph and Mary. Luke gives us the wonderful detail that he took Jesus and held Him in his arms. That, for me, is one of the most significant moments of the nativity narratives. In this one simple man two worlds meet.
The Old Testament embraces the New. For what is the Old Testament but a collection of promises? God promised Adam and Eve, I will send someone to crush the head of the serpent. Now that One had come. As Simeon took Him into his arms he responded poetically, perhaps even in a song, as Adam had first responded to Eve, as Mary had responded to the angel. The promise had become flesh. It was “the good news.”
It was good news to finally be able to embrace the Promised One. But far and away the best news of all is that He embraces us. That was the reason for His coming. Most of us describe our coming to faith by saying, “I’ve asked Jesus into my life.” We should really say He has invited us into His life!
I look forward to joining you at the meeting of these worlds this Sunday, responding to Jesus’ invitation into His life. Your Pastor in Christ,
P.S. The above piece comes from Michael Card’s book Immanuel: Reflections on the Life of Christ. I encourage you to listen to his song that accompanies his reflection, “Now That I’ve Held Him in My Arms.”