Next Year

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel's consolation, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord's Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said: Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace, according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your salvation… - Luke 2:25-30 HCSB

“Le-shanah ha-ba’a b'Yerushalayim!” “Next year in Jerusalem!” For centuries the Jewish people have made this hopeful cry. Through the Diaspora, the pogroms, the Holocaust, Stalin, the British and Arab persecution…all over the world Jews have prayed this prayer: “Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, Blessed are you Adonai our God and ruler of this world. Let me be in the Holy City this time next year.”

Simeon would have understood this desire. Sometimes it is possible to live too long. A man should not outlive his own children. I hope that Adonai will allow my children to bury me someday. But Simeon had this seed of hope within himself: Hashem had revealed that Simeon would see “Israel’s Consolation”, the Messiah before he died.

So year after year, he lived in Jerusalem. Month after month, he stayed near the temple complex waiting to see the Glory of Israel. Finally, after many decades of patient waiting, Simeon woke one morning, feeling driven like never before to go to the temple. He hurried through his morning ablutions, devotions and a light breakfast. He felt so much pressure to get there that he probably arrived nearly out of breath.

And what did he see? Was there a long parade with great fanfare? No, there was only a young, poverty stricken couple with a baby. They looked as though they had been sleeping in a barn! His ancient eyes nearly passed over them. But the Holy Spirit made his gaze pause, look again and linger a moment on that young child.

We all have different things we’d like to do. We may have a desire to visit a tropical island, go on a cruise, hang-glide or travel to space. Elohim not only allows but encourages us to dream and have ambitions. But we must remember the fragility of life.

This time next year – where will you be? Will you even be alive? This time next year your family may be mourning your unexpected demise. Before that happens, make sure that you get a glimpse of Salvation. Make sure that you see your Lord the Messiah and make Him your own. Before you die, be sure that you have embraced Israel’s Consolation.

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