Simeon and the Chicago Cubs
I knew of a lady back in 2016. She was born in Chicago and moved to St. Louis when she was a young adult. Even a move here, among the greatest baseball fans in the country, did not dampen her loyalty to the Chicago Cubs. Every year, she like many long-suffering Cub fans kept their faith, “This is going to be the year!” many would say. Then comes 2016. Early in the year she is diagnosed with a somewhat rare form of cancer. As the weeks and months progressed her condition deteriorated with each passing week.
Her family told me that long about September when it looked like the Cubs might actually at least make the playoffs. She was well aware of her fate, but she still told her doctors, “You have to keep me alive until the Cubs are in the playoffs.” The doctors did their best to do that, but it was going to be a long shot.
Miraculously this long-suffering Cub fan lived to see not only the Cubs in th4 playoffs, but she got to see them on TV win the series over the Cleveland Indians. Forty-eight hours later, she died peacefully in her sleep. Her daughters tearfully told me this story when we sat down to make her funeral arrangements.
Simeon can be thought of as the Cubs fan of the Bible. He is described as a pious and righteous man of great faith. The Holy Spirit promised Simeon he would not see death until he laid eyes on the Messiah. We, too, are promised everlasting life if we lay our eyes on the Messiah and have faith in his goodness. Every time we come to worship, the Holy Spirit is present with us, just as it was with Simeon.
As was required by the law that required that all first-born sons were presented for consecration at the temple, and a burnt offering was to be offered. Mary and Joseph took Baby Jesus to the Temple; Simeon was there, as he was there most days for the previous years. Nobody had to tell Simeon or point out Mary and Joseph and the Baby to him. He knew he was in the presence of the Messiah and the Holy Spirit guided Simeon through the crowd to the Jesus family.
Simeon took the baby in his arms with great joy, and The Lord had kept his promise. Simeon sang the song we know as the Nunc Dimittis: Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled. My eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people; a light to reveal you in the nations and the glory of your people Israel.
Simeon’s promise was fulfilled in a Temple. May we continue to see, love, and serve the Lord in our Temple.
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Most of the blog articles are written by our Rector, The Rev. Rebecca Ragland