Thursday, December 10, 2009
Lessons from Simeon
This past Sunday Dusty and I lit the second Advent candle at church, the peace candle. This got me contemplating a lot, because I think "peace" is so often marginalized into an abstract concept or lofty goal that in this day and age is all too unattainable.
It all really reminds me a lot of Simeon, because Simeon found his life's peace with the advent of Jesus the kid. In Luke 2 you'll find Simeon, a man full of the Holy Spirit and living in the promise that he wouldn't die until he saw the Messiah in the flesh.
The Spirit leads him to the temple the very day that Mary and Joseph were there to present Jesus for circumcision. And Simeon, upon seeing that kid, exclaims, "I've seen it all Lord! I can die in peace! You did what you said you would do!"
I long to have that kind of certainty about the Lord! I'm supposed to have it all together because I've been a follower of Christ for 14 years, and because my husband is a youth minister, but I cannot count the times throughout the year, the week, the day, that I find my innermost self saying, "Lord, I do not believe you."
There are some things that I definitely feel like the Lord has promised me. Until the time comes that I see those things into fruition, I find mostly that what I want is enough peace to wait in patient expectation, just like Simeon.
Here are some things that I've learned about peace in the past year:
1.) Peace is almost always preceded by expectation. Maybe it's the expectation of something that makes you anxious, or maybe like me and my friend Simeon, the fulfillment of promises.
2.) Peace and adversity often, and strangely enough, stand side by side. I think it's because in adverse times the absence of peace is exaggerated, until we realize that it's what has been missing all along.
3.) True peace, I mean lifelong lasting peace, is only found in Jesus. He carried it with him in his birth long ago, it's available to us through the Holy Spirit today, and we are anxiously awaiting the time when that peace will be the ruling standard in our world.