Now I Can Die in Peace

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Joshua 19-21; Luke 2:25-52

Friends, I owe you an apology. I thought I had set this post to publish early this morning. Obviously, I was wrong. I only discovered this when I started to write the post for tomorrow. Not only did I not set it to post, I found out I hadn’t even finished it. Oh, well. I try.

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25 A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law.28 Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,

29 “Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word,
30     because my eyes have seen your salvation.
31 You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples.
32 It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles
    and a glory for your people Israel.”

 

33 His father and mother were amazed by what was said about him.34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “This boy is assigned to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that generates opposition 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your innermost being too.” (Luke 2:25=35, Common English Bible).

We have all heard it said by others. Perhaps we have said it ourselves at some point. Something happens that we dreamed of happening. Something happens we not only dreamed of, but something we never actually thought possible. “Now I can die in peace,” we have said or at least heard someone else say.

Simeon, by tradition, was a very elderly man. In fact, many believe Simeon was much older than the typical man of the era. This doesn’t necessarily mean he was an old man by our standards. First, the scripture never assigns an age to Simeon. It could have been that God made a promise to Simeon at a very young age and then fulfilled that promise in a relatively short period of time. Second, to us, if Simeon were say, for example, 60 years old at the time of the story, we wouldn’t think such an age to be old at all. But, in the New Testament era, average life expectancy was 35-40 years old. A sixty-year-old would seem pretty old to the average citizen even if we fail to see such a person as old.

God made a promise to Simeon. By the way the lesson reads, it leads us to think, Simeon was an old man who had been waiting for a long time. Now, God had finally fulfilled the promise that Simeon would see the Messiah before He died. Now, Simeon was ready to go, though there is no indication in Scripture about how much longer Simeon actually lived.

As for us, our matters of dying in peace, most of the time, seem far more trivial than what Simeon knew. Seeing the Messiah was everything. Waiting to see the Chicago Cubs win the World Series (or any other team for that matter), well not so much. Perhaps we need to rethink that whole “die in peace” thing and save it for times when it would really mean something.

Have a blessed day (what is left of it) in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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