December 16: Simple Pursuit
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” Psalm 27:8
We find Simeon and Anna at the temple in Jerusalem. These two elderly people claim a simple, profound pursuit: They have followed the Lord all their lives. The Bible calls Simeon “righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). Anna has served, prayed, and fasted in the Temple since her husband died years and years ago (Luke 2:36-7). She, like Simeon, looks for the coming Messiah.
And they find him, or, to be more precise, Jesus finds them. Joseph and Mary bring the infant to Jerusalem to present Jesus to God and to offer a sacrifice. Simeon takes Jesus into his arms and bursts into prophecy (Luke 2:29-32, 34-5), in a fashion similar to Elizabeth’s and Mary’s praise songs a chapter earlier (Luke 1:41-55).
When Anna approaches the baby Jesus, the same thing happens. She speaks the truth and gives thanks to God. She can’t keep quiet; she speaks of Jesus to “all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).
Simeon and Anna might not have expected to ever see the Messiah with their own eyes, but they hoped to. Anna and Simeon sought him with all their hearts, and God arrived on the temple steps. He introduced himself to Anna and Simeon in such a strange, glorious, and beautiful way: He let them hold his Son, the Savior of the world, in their arms and speak of his great name to all the people gathered there.