But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)
The joy we celebrate at Christmas is for the arrival of the long-awaited Savior, Jesus in the flesh. In Luke, chapter two, Mary and Joseph are carrying the infant Jesus, who is 40 days old. Jesus, the savior of the world, makes his entrance into the temple in Jerusalem. It was time for Mary and Joseph to offer the required sacrifice for the first-born male.
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. 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. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he 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; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:25-32)
Simeon, in the temple, was waiting to see the long-awaited savior. After beholding the savior, he was ready to depart in peace.
Even though this baby savior was some 33 years away from the cross, Simeon knew the savior would accomplish what he came to do. Jesus would die on the cross for the sins of the world. For what the Holy Spirit had revealed, Simeon rejoiced in God, his savior.
The peace that Simeon speaks, is a peace that is available for all people. It is the peace of knowing that our sins of are forgiven in Jesus; sins of thoughts, words and deeds.
Jesus washed away those sins. And when our sins are forgiven, we, too, can have that same peace in which Simeon rejoiced.
Jesus offers that wonderful peace in his word, in his gifts of baptism and in the Lord’s Supper.
The peace of the savior is waiting for you, not in temple, but in church.