Tag Archives: Simeon

Because of Christmas #9: Perhaps Today

Usually – by this time of the day, an idea has been circling around in my brain for hours. A hint. Additional input filtered through the synapses. A few tweaks here and there and the outline has taken shape enough that I feel like I know what I’m supposed to write about for the day.

Not so today.

There’s simply been too many ideas circulating in my brain. Everytime I think I’ve found a focus, something else spears its way into my sphere, and I’m off track again.

Thanksgiving Day………Family Foibles………Christmas………Simeon….

So many choices and no inner nudges that are highlighting one thing and yet – this huge knocking in my head that I am missing something. Something huge. Something obvious. Something that is right in front of my face, and I’m missing it.

Hmmm…..a few days ago, I wrote “Signs Instruct Direction”, so I think I need to go look at things that I wrote down because they caught my attention throughout the day.

“Wise is the saint like Simeon.”~Max Lucado (p102)

If I had the faith of Simeon, I wouldn’t be biting my nails and wondering what the next paragraph is going to look like. Simeon knew. He was waiting. He had complete confidence in one fact – he would see the Messiah in his lifetime. God had promised. God fulfills all His promises.

What is it like to have such a faith? To wake up everyday and think to himrself: אולי היום ……. perhaps today …. Did he have the words posted in his notes on scripture? Did he talk about it with other rabbis as they debated the scriptures and Jewish wisdom? Or – did his gut just ache, so deep inside him that he knew beyond human knowledge that “perhaps today”…. “perhaps today”…he would see the One he longed to see the most?

The advent of the Messiah into the world. God’s plan of salvation.

I remember lying under a huge maple tree in my front yard long, long ago. The light filtered through the leaves, and there was a promise whispered in the wind. A promise I didn’t understand but absorbed like breath itself. Unlike Simeon, however, my faith faltered and tumbled into dark recesses of my crazy choices for long periods of time. But occasionally – when my spiritual ears would be tickled to listen – I would remember, breathe deeply and think: perhaps today. Then I would stand outside, hold my breath until I felt His breath, and breathe deeply in that God promise to me and remember – God keeps all promises.

My faith is stronger in these latter days. However, because the faith is stronger, the waiting is harder – I am impatient. Have always been impatient. In fact, it is one of those things, God has challenged me to work on – PATIENCE. Errrrrrr……I have to admit, the more challenges He gives me, the more I’m looking forward to a point when time is not linear.

So today (in linear time lingo), I took a lesson from Max Lucado. i wrote the words: “Perhaps Today” in large letters. I added some artistic flairs here and there so it will daily draw my eye in my war room. Everyday I want to be reminded of Simeon’s faith in his Abba’s promise. He knew that Jehovah-Jireh would provide the fulfillment of the promise at the perfect time. And that day as he held the Messiah in his arms, he spoke to the blessing:

“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”~Lk 2:29-32

As this day of giving thanks pushes to its own fulfillment, I think I will take one more last trip outside with the dogs. I will hold my breath, open my ears and breathe deeply. When I feel His holy breath deep within me and I am waiting with expectation, I will say…perhaps today……….perhaps today………….perhaps today……….   [google images]

2 of 7: LOVE

2 of 7: LOVE. “It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” ~Charles Dickens.

After teaching A Christmas Carol for so many years, there are lots of Dickens quotes that I LOVE. He was able to put into words what the rest of us just saw as anmom's stocking accepted reality without questioning ‘why’ it was an accepted reality. Children understand the beauty of the Christmas story even better than we do. Children LOVE easier than we do.  We have way too many everyday doubts and issues circling around us to see the unparalleled gift that was given on that night so long ago…LOVE that was given so long ago. But I also believe that our elders fall into this category. Some of the most special memories I have of my mom were during those last few years she spent upon this earth. She was so full of stories and LOVE that I couldn’t wait to go pick her up and bring her to the house (except when there was a bunch of snow and ice on the road…then – not so much). Usually we would sing Christmas carols all the way to the house or talk about her memories of past Christmases. She would tell me the story of her Christmas stocking every year, and it still hangs right beside mine. Just LOVE that stocking and the memories of the Christmases that it has seen since 1919.

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismissd your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32

God honors children, elders or any of us who makes time to look for Him – in a stable – in a stranger’s face – in our enemy. God honored Simeon’s request to see the Savior before he died. The thing I really LOVE about this story is that God did His usual – He went above and beyond giving Simeon the dream he requested. He LOVED Simeon and blessed him greatly. Simeon actually held the Savior in his arms – kissed His downy head – and I imagine – dropped a few tears upon His tiny form as well. A baptism of salty water that would begin a sacred journey upon this world that was so unworthy of Christ’s presence. LOVE begats LOVE.

Cookies, Carols, Children, Characters, Christmas. Five C’s that take on a whole new connotation during our holyday season. Colored lights erupt in sporadic bursts. Magic circles swirl through the air. Elves hide behind every tree. Secrets float just beyond earshot. Presents pile up under the tree, while dormant dreams suddenly seem to slip from their slumbering state into a possible reality…for Simeon…for children…for you. It’s all about LOVE at Christmas —– or at least —– it should be.simeon

art by Ron DiCianni

 

3 if 7:HOPE

gettysburg10One of the hardest things for me to teach in English was grammar. For most students, it is tedious, boring and a “When-will-I-ever-use-this-so-why-do-I-have-to-know-it” exercise. I understand that thought process. In Mrs. Swartzwalter’s 8th grade English class, I was thinking approximately the same thing – especially when we started diagramming sentences. But the more we did it, the more it suddenly began to make sense. Parts of speech began to organize themselves in my brain and the visual pictures of diagraming started sub-sets of categories that served as an invaluable resouce when I became a teacher.

Hope can be a noun or a verb. A person, place or thing or an action. Needless to say, because it has been used so often down through the ages, forms of it have also branched off into the adjective [hopful] and adverb [hopfully] forms as well. I can only HOPE this makes sense.

Moses HOPED to see the promised land. Jacob HOPED to reunite with Esau. David HOPED to build a temple. Zarcharias HOPED to have a child. Simeon and Anna HOPED to meet the saviour before they died. A woman HOPED to be healed. Jesus HOPED that He would not have to drink from the cup. We all have HOPES, dreams, aspirations. We all trust at some point in time that our aspirations or dreams will come to fruition in our life times..

“…but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.…” Rom 8:24b-25

In the Bible, HOPE is more a verb than anything else. It is not a passive wish. It is not idle. It is not just sitting in our living room, watching TV, waiting for it to arrive in our lives. It is not an escape from reality. If our HOPE is Biblical, it is based on the trust that all God’s promises will be fullfilled. That kind of HOPE directs our paths into action – how we see ourselves – what values we hold – what we do with our time and gifts. Hope is active.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me. ~ Emily Dickinson, 1861light-hope_00332387