Unlike Simeon, we have not yet seen Jesus face-to-face, but we are profoundly blessed because we have not seen and yet believed (John 20:29). Like the venerable Simeon, we eagerly anticipate the appearance of the Lord promised to us — the parousia, His second coming to earth in the flesh (I Thessalonians 5:23-24, Hebrews 9:28). As another 2,000 years have passed since that promise of Christ’s coming has made, there has been attrition in the visible church, just as there was in ancient Israel, as to the belief that He will ever come. At that second advent, it will be in such a refulgent display, there will be no one confused about His identity (Psalm 110:1, Colossians 3:4, II Thessalonians 1:7-10, Revelation 1:7, 19:15). God’s people live every day with the word maranatha on our lips, sometimes in a triumphant praise and sometimes as a faint whisper, living in the light of the knowledge that He can come at any time. We are called to be ready when He comes, we know no other way to live, and once He does return, we’ll know we will have seen everything on this earth that we need to see. In space and time, we echo Simeon, “Lord, perhaps today.”
After expositing Luke chapter 2 at the recent Ligonier Ministries Christmas Gathering, R.C. Sproul offered the prayer, “Our Father and our God, in this Christmas season, help us to understand that to know Jesus is to be most blessed of people. May we see His light and His glory as we wait even now for that day when we can see His face before ours. And we ask it in Jesus’ name, amen.”
And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love,
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in Heav’n above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.