“Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32
Simeon’s response to meeting Jesus in Luke 2:29-32 has come to be known in Latin as, “Nunc Dimittis,” which literally means, “now dismiss.” Simeon had just said to the Lord, “You may now dismiss Your servant in peace.” His use of the word “now” denotes something in the present.
Simeon saw this little baby as a “now” moment…the way we all should see Him. It was the first day of a new day; but it was more than that. It was a new day of the “last days.” The moment Jesus was born a clock began to tick and there is a time on that clock when time will be no more. This Jesus who came the first time is coming back a second time. The first time, He was placed in a manger…on a cross…in a tomb. The second time, He will be seated on a throne.
History is not an endless succession of random events going nowhere in a hurry. History is on a path being directed by God toward the event of all events. The first Christmas is to wet our appetite for the Second Coming.
One of the most familiar Christmas carols of all tis the classic, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” This stanza is one that is rarely sung that I will never forget. It says:
“For lo! The days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old
When with the ever circling years,
Shall come the time foretold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world gives back the song
Which now the angels sing.”
Yes, “Tis the season to be jolly, but not because we are looking for a jolly man in a red suit, but a risen King on a white horse. When He came the first time there was no room for Him in the Inn; but when He comes back everyone will make room for Him. When He comes back the graves will give up their dead. The devil will give up his war. Kings will give up their crowns. The world will give up its rebellion and all of us who are on the lookout will give up our worship.
Just as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the Son who rose from the grave is coming again!
Application: Are you ready to meet the Lord face to face?