When I take trips to Manitoulin Island, during the summer, I generally make reservations on the ferry from Tobermory. For my reservations to be valid, I must arrive at the port one hour prior to sailing.
Because of that requirement, I am never real comfortable the whole trip, until I arrive by the required time.
When I pull up to the ferry check-in booth, I’m asked for my name. The attendant looks down at his roster, finds my name and checks it off . . . Only then can I move to the parking lot for loading. With that, I sigh with relief and begin to relax. The only thing for me to do after that: wait to be loaded on the boat, when the time comes. My transportation is secure. It’s amazing how quickly peace replaces my anxiety at check in. My hour wait is often spent peacefully laying back on a grassy hill, enjoying the sun, as I look forward to the moment when I see the ship appear from behind an island and turns toward port.
Peace . . . That’s the word that jumped out at me as I read from Luke 2. It showed up 2 times. The first as the angels praised God, saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE among those with whom he is pleased.” And then again, a few verses down when Simeon, longing for his arrival, saw Jesus. Simeon took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in PEACE, according to Your word.”
When Simeon saw Jesus, I picture him closing his eyes, with a soft exhaling sigh, almost imperceivably uttering, “ahhh”, expressing his long anticipated relief at he sight of Jesus . . . “Ahhh”, Peace . . . a peace that was extended to the world, and became a reality for those who believe.
Rather than an uncertain peace . . . it wasn’t based upon the hope of our on-time arrival . . . this peace was dependent solely on the arrival of Jesus. Jesus showed up at that booth, for all creation. He met the requirement for all those who would believe, allowing them to enter into His Kingdom based on His arrival.
Simeon’s response was personal. His quiet sigh was actually the shout of an old man, “He’s here! He’s here! Now I can get on the boat and to the Island . . . I want to get off of this loading dock and on the boat. I’ve waited a long time to wave goodbye to this world and hello to my eternal home . . . Enough already! ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;’” How rich a perspective!
I can have that same perspective on life. No matter how good life may seem at times, it’s nothing compared to what is to come.
I think I have it all wrong when I bid believers farewell when they depart from this life. Rather than uttering the words “rest in peace” to them, I’m the one that is to rest in peace . . . I have no worries as I’m waiting for the adventure that is to come. Jesus has swallowed up the anxiety that death brings to others in the world . . . He has arrived . . . on time . . . in my place.
Lord, help me to display an uncommon peace in a world filled with anxiety. Help me to be prepared with an answer for those who have no hope!
Luke 2: 8 And in the same region there were shepherds . . . 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord . . . ” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 . . . the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem . . . 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart . . .
21 . . . he was called Jesus, . . .
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord . . .” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 . . . the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he (Simeon) took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (biblegateway.com, ESV)
More than just a believer in God, I need to be a follower of Jesus!