In the bible there's a man named Simeon. There's a lot of men in the bible. There are a lot of facts in the bible. We can all be religious, we can have a knowlege of God. Study the scriptures and interpret, or misinterpret as we desire. But somewhere in it all - if your faith becomes real - the knowlege melts into your heart.
In Luke 2:22 we can read the story of a man named Simeon. A knowegeable man. A man of God who spent all his time in the temple. He knew the prophesies, he knew the scriptures...and he knew something else. He knew that he would not die until he saw the birth of the Messiah. Simeon was an old man, a man who had lived a good life, and now a man ready to die. But his life was not complete, and so he waited. Waited day after day, year after year. God was not a liar, still the time passed so slowly. And then it happened. One morning he awoke as he had so many others. But this morning was different. God told him to go to the temple. His gaze caught them at once. A young and lowly couple with a baby.
They were unprepared for what happened next. The man approached with an anxiousness uncommon in any era. He moved as fast as an old man could toward them. They knew who their son was, but surely no one else could; still his eyes said it all - he knew. They had no fear, no concern, only curiosity as he reached, and Mary raised the child to his open arms. And then he said it, Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." Mary and Joseph marveled. Read Luke 2:33.
This evening, as I do so often when I consider Simeon, I'm marveling. Google says there are 6,602,224,175 (July 2007 est.) on the face of this earth now. Many more have died, and some undetermined number are yet to live. God cares for all of them. Six billion is a number too large to comprehend, but out of those many billion, he chose one. One man who would not die until he say Christ. One faithful insignificant man would hold Him in his arms, and then 'depart in peace.' My God, what a thought. What a thing to grasp. What peace he must have felt. what tears must have flowen from his eyes. And what wonder must have overcome Joseph and Mary.
If you get a second, listen to Michael Card tell the story...He's posted below