Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dismissed in Peace

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Just a couple of months ago, I lost a dear friend to death. Then, just a week ago, my dear wife’s aunt died. Needless to say, I have given some thought to the subject of death these past few weeks. The thoughts are not morbid, scary, or sorrowful. They are, well let me tell you about one of them...

I was thinking back to my childhood school days. When class was to be dismissed at the end of the day, two short rings of a bell warned us that in 5 minutes we could go home. Then, right on the dot, a long bell ring indicated that we were dismissed. 

In those 5 minutes, our teacher would make sure our little area was cleaned up; books  and supplies put away, and the floor around our desk clean. When we were finished, we would sit with our hands folded on our desks, waiting ANXIOUSLY to be dismissed. I remember on many occasions my teacher’s promise, “When you are ready, you will be dismissed.”

God made a promise like that to the priest, Simeon. It was not identical, but something like, “When I am ready, I’ll let you see the Christ; then you will be dismissed.” He didn’t get a warning bell or a timeline either. He had to trust in the LORD for His perfect timing. I can imagine that he was a lot like we kids, waiting anxiously for that time to come. 

Simeon had to wait a few decades for the promise to be fulfilled. And when God was ready, Christ was born. Simeon saw the salvation of God with his very own eyes. Now, he could be dismissed in peace. 

Dismissed in peace! It’s possible, you know. One of God’s great promises is, “...whoever believes [puts his full and complete trust] in the Son of God will not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16b]

With Christ as your Savior and Guide, being dismissed from this life is peaceful. It’s no scarier than being dismissed from an elementary school class—but a lot better! Being dismissed from the classroom meant going home for the night, just to return, yet again, the next day for school. But being dismissed from this life, Christ followers go home, to heaven, not for merely a night, but forever. 

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 2:29-31

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