And [Simeon] came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” – Luke 2:27-32
Simeon held tightly to his promise from God that he would not leave this earth before laying eyes on the salvation of Israel, the Messiah, the Christ. We can only speculate as to how he knew who to approach within the Temple courtyard, but upon finding Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, Simeon spoke the prophetic words recorded above.
Isn’t it interesting to note that Simeon understood something that Judah as a nation had forgotten? That the Messiah would be a Light of revelation to the Gentiles (or nations)? The sad truth is that, like Judah, many churches have similarly forgotten Christ’s purpose. Abraham’s blessing never belonged to just his physical descendants, but his spiritual ones as well. He was blessed to be a blessing. The first coming of Christ Jesus is a reminder to all those who have received Him that He expects His light to shine in every dark corner of His creation until He returns.
What will turn this negative tide of selfish isolationism within the Church? Only what Simeon himself experienced in his temple encounter, the very presence of that same Messiah, Jesus who is the Light of the World.
We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining, they just shine. – Dwight L. Moody