Practicing the Better: Simeon

Simeon was surely a transmitter of light, life, and love. His incarnation of these qualities is seen in Luke’s description of him as “righteous and devout”–that is, a man of character who showed it in the way he loved God and served others.  Moreover, Luke says “The Holy Spirit rested upon him (Luke 2:25).

His instruction about life, light, and love did not come through a formal teaching, but in the words he spoke upon taking Jesus in his arms, and seeing that he was “a light to the Gentiles and a glory for Israel”–which means everyone (2:32).

Through Simeon we see these two things about practicing the better: (1) it is something we can do all our lives, even into old age…and…(2) as we do so, we are filled with hope because we realize that what we have experienced what is meant for everyone, and we have the opportunity to declare it to the world.

Jeannie and I were blessed to know Dr. J.C. McPheeters, the second president of Asbury Theological Seminary.  Dr. Mac lived into his nineties, and when I read about Simeon, I think about him.  The words Luke used to describe Simeon characterized Dr. McPheeters: righteous, devout, and one upon whom the Holy Spirit rested.  And like Simeon, he was filled with hope.  Dr. Mac manifested light, life, and love–practicing the better until the day he died.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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