I’m an old man, ready to die but today I don’t feel my years; I feel young. I will be glad to pass into the realm of my Lord but sad also knowing I will not see more of the progress of the child I held in my arms today.
It didn’t start this way in the morning but tonight as I write this, I feel a sense of freedom, lightness and contentment I can’t remember having had for many, many years. I think my friend Anna, the old prophetess and widow, who lives in the Temple, must feel something like that too.
A couple came to the temple today for the woman, a girl really, to be purified after the birth of their son, forty days ago, and to present the boy to our God. The couple were Mary and Joseph and the boy’s name was Jesus. A common name but, there was something special about this child. They brought with them the sacrifice of two young doves, as required by the Law of The Lord.
I’ve tried to abide by the Law of The Lord all my life, and at times think, perhaps imagined, I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Today, for the first time, I knew with absolute certainty that the Spirit was with me and with the child as I held the boy, Jesus in my arms.
I have never been a man of eloquent words but today the Holy Spirit told me what to say, it was this:
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Mum and Dad seemed quite taken aback when I blessed the girl Mary and their son and told them their boy was chosen by God, to do great things. I wish I would be here to see him as he grows.
At the end of the blessing Anna came in too. She praised God for the boy, prophesying that one day this child would set the people of Israel, all God’s people, free.
I feel my own future will be short now but after today, I face it with gladness in my heart.
An entry in an imagined diary of Simeon (Luke 2: 22-38)