Backstage at the Church
“You now dismiss your servant in peace.” Can any of us relate to this statement after a long day of work on Black Friday at a department store, finishing our last Christmas service preach, or serving backstage behind the scenes to support the front line?
This statement came in Scripture when a man in today’s world might be considered retired – finished – completed – or just plain done! His name is Simeon and he’s been faithfully doing his job backstage at the temple for a long time. He’s been hanging out waiting and waiting and waiting. Some of you know what I’m talking about – you’ve been waiting for a long time as well for something. I’m not sure what you’ve been waiting for but Simeon has been waiting for the Savior and he’s arrived. I can’t even imagine the presentation of baby Jesus in the temple. I get emotional thinking about it. Although a very powerful scene in the movie Lion King, the presentation of Simba pales in comparison when he is anointed, held up in the arms of Rafiki, and the animal kingdom bows down to him. Although seeing my sons for the very first time brought me to tears, again I say the moment Jesus was presented in the temple would have been much different and like no other before it, or after it.
Because the Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die before seeing Jesus, this moment had to be so emotive for him. I can picture him holding baby Jesus up in his arms as he says, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel (Luke 2:29-32).”
Anna, the prophetess, has been waiting a while as well, but we get a glimpse of what she’s been doing backstage. Scripture tells us she never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. One might think she came up to Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus and gave thanks to God because she was tired and old, but what the temple crew is excited about, including Anna, is that Salvation has arrived. How beautiful we catch sight of Anna, immediately, at her older age (known to have lived 84 years) to speak about the redemption of Jesus.
Behold the beautiful sight of the body of Christ working together backstage praying, fasting, and serving behind the scenes for the greater event coming when we will all see our Savior face to face. There is a worship service coming where none on this earth can compare and all who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior will have a pass to attend. Our time on earth is backstage in preparation for what is to come when we will be presented before our Lord.
I thank God for every single one of you – let’s do this Christmas together in peace as the bride of Christ remembering we bow down before our one and only King, Jesus.