Somehow he knew today was going to be a day like no other. The air seemed fresher, the sun brighter, and oh, how the stones of the city walls gleamed as the sun rose! No wonder they called her Jerusalem the Golden. As the old man went up the temple steps, a spontaneous thought came to mind - “There he is!” as he caught a glimpse of a young couple carrying a baby. Simeon was overjoyed! Though his eyes were fading, he saw clearly the light for Gentiles and the glory of His people Israel. God had kept his promise to his people and a personal one to him. Now he could go in peace. He had seen the anointed one.
I’m currently flying home from a quick week trip to Europe. It was partially work and partially fun. Once upon a time I was a missionary in Vienna working with kids at an international school as their elementary chaplain and counselor. After 6 years away I had “all the feels” at finally being back in my European “home” city. I walked through the city my first night there and took in all the familiar sites and smells. I felt completely at home surrounded by a sea of people from around the world. My German fooled the shopkeepers momentarily and the pastries were still swoon-worthy. I walked miles that evening simply taking it all in. My heart was full and I breathed out “thank you, Jesus” with nearly every breath.
One of my dearest friends lives with her Viennese husband and their two girls just outside the city. I took an entire duffle bag full of American treats to them and I’m lugging the same duffle bag back home full of European treats. A couple of nights ago I had their 4-year-old daughter on my lap and we were reading through one of the Christmas books I had brought. I