Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, "Sovereign Lord now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation which you have prepared for all people. He is a Light to reveal God to the nations, and He is the glory of your people Israel" –Luke 2:28-32
Simeon was an old man devout in his faith. He had been waiting for the prophecies of a coming Messiah to be fulfilled, along with Anna, a godly woman. Both are in the Temple when Mary and Joseph come and present their baby to the Lord. They were overjoyed when they recognized that the babe in arms is the Messiah, the hope to the nations and salvation to all who believe. (Luke 2:25-38) They faithfully held on to the hope shared in the prophecies written hundreds of years before in the book of Isaiah.
What happens, though, when promises seem distant and hope begins to fade or simply gets squashed by grief and the struggles of life? How does Jesus come to renew our hope and restore our trust? He comes and calls us by name ….
This past fall, some very dear friends of mine lost their son to suicide. With a broken heart, I asked the Lord to help me minister to the family. How could hope be renewed? The Scriptures about Mary Magdalene came to mind. Mary was delivered by Jesus from demons, and her life was in tatters, but Jesus shared the truth that set her free. Mary followed and supported the ministry of Jesus (Luke 8:1-3) before watching her Savior suffer relentlessly on the cross, hope being squashed out of her with each breath. The following morning, Mary ran to the tomb, only to find it empty.
Heartbroken and overcome with emotion, Mary pleaded with the gardener, "If you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go get him." She didn't realize that the gardener was actually her Savior — the King of Kings — until He responded calling her by name, "Mary."
In an instant, she recognized Jesus, and hope was stirred with joy overflowing. Mary may not have had answers to her "why’s," but she chose to believe what her Savior said and went to the 12 disciples, sharing, “Jesus is alive!” (John 20:11-18)
The truth is, amid life’s struggles, our hope can be renewed because Jesus meets us in broken places. I woke up the other morning with these words ringing in my ears, "I know the King!"
With this truth, no matter how downcast you may feel or how faded your hope may seem, you can say, "I KNOW THE KING!"
- Lucy Houghton