This week we come to the end of our series “Casting Christmas”. We take a final look back at the characters of the Christmas Story and introduce Simeon and Anna. In his book Peculiar Treasures, Frederick Buechner writes about Simeon and the “Curtain Call” moment he had in the temple with Jesus, Mary and Joseph:
“Jesus was still in diapers when his parents brought him to the Temple in Jerusalem ‘to present him to the Lord’ as the custom was, and offer a sacrifice and that’s when old Simeon spotted him. Years before, he’d been told he wouldn’t die till he’d seen the Messiah with his own two eyes, and time was running out. When the moment finally came, one look through his cataract lenses was all it took. He asked if it would be all right to hold the baby in his arms and they told him to go ahead but be careful not to drop it…
The parents were pleased as punch, and so he blessed them too for good measure. Then something about the mother stopped him, and his expression changed. What he saw in her face was a long way off, but it was there so plainly he couldn’t pretend. ‘A sword will pierce through your soul,’ he said. He would rather have bitten off his tongue than said it. But in that holy place he felt he had no choice. Then he handed her back the baby and departed in something less than the perfect peace he’d dreamed of all the long years of his waiting.” (pg. 176)
Sometimes our endings are not as we envision. The story we think we know, shifts depending upon our vantage point. With God, the future is a mystery and the unfolding a process. May you find your place in God’s unfolding and enfolding story and may the community of The Table be a place to continue your search.