Old man, feeble man. Knows it is not his time yet. Not yet. Compelled to the Temple, he goes. The hitch in his knees and hips, be damned. Walking the pace of a beetle.
Once he arrives, he carefully navigates grand steps. Doesn’t it all have meaning? The old man thinks to himself. Inside, he stops for a moment to catch his breath. Remembering when he could run the steps with little effort. Everything takes effort now. As he walks inside the temple, the old man’s eyes are led…drawn to…and met by another’s eyes. His heart beats fast as he looks into the eyes of the cosmos. Sun and Moon. The beginning of the world. The judgement. Eternity.
Simeon is met by the gaze of God With Us. A baby.
Sweeping the infant child from the arms of his mother into his own, he praises God. How long he has waited. The time has come. God has kept His promise, hasn’t he? Simeon struck by the wonder of God. An old man. In awe.
The words simply pour from his mouth, like wine into cups. Never spilling a drop. He speaks of a Light to the world. Salvation. Glory revealed. The old man is ready to take his leave after this moment. It’s been so long. He is so very tired. But, God has given him a gift. He waited, palms open, for a lifetime.
More words come to Simeon, he cannot help it. These things puzzle and fragment. They cannot be understood. Not now. He speaks of this child…a great paradox to Israel. Acceptance. Opposition. Love. Hatred.
Then, especially for that sweet, young mother: A sword will pierce through your very soul.
Simeon saw her face, confusion and amazement. A breath of fear. He handed the baby back over to her, as it was time to go. He has seen a glimpse of the Father’s perfect plan. Smiling at Joseph and Mary, he walks away. Toward home. Whispers to himself, to God, to the infant:
Thank you, Lord. I have seen, met, and held the Messiah. Now your servant can die in peace.