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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)

TITLE: The Fulfillment Of Prophecy
By Shelley Snyder


In the sweltering heat of the day an elderly man sat, alone, in the cool of the shade beneath Solomon’s Portico at the Temple. Around him, people hurried about and did not pay him any attention. He was a tired old man, and had made many trips to the Temple throughout his lifetime. And for some time now he had come in earnest anticipation, waiting and watching for the promised comfort that was to come to Israel. He knew it would occur, but he did not know when.

The sound of bleating sheep and goats was carried on the warm breeze that blew and swirled the dust at his feet. The cooing of pigeons and doves could also be heard in the distance; these were the animals used in the daily sacrifices. It was always hoped, by those making the sacrifices, that the fragrant aromas from their offerings would be pleasing to Yahweh.

Simeon enjoyed coming here, and always took comfort in being at the Temple – for this was Yahweh’s house, and it was here that the aged man felt very close to his God. However, he was intelligent enough to know that these stone walls could not contain Yahweh, the God of Israel, for He was everywhere.

A couple walked slowly past him, and he could see the young woman was holding an infant. Simeon smiled at the mother who cradled her baby, holding him close to her heart. The Holy Spirit was upon him, and he now knew that today was the day that consolation had finally come to Israel! He called out to them, a dry, raspy utterance emanating from his throat as he beckoned for them to come closer. “May….may I hold the child?” He asked tentatively. The woman looked at her husband who had nodded his approval. Carefully and gently she placed her sleeping eight day old son into the man’s arms.

Simeon closed his eyes as he cried out and blessed God. Hot tears trickled down his cheeks when he opened his eyes to gaze upon the little baby he held. “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people, Israel.”*

The boy’s mother knelt. She was beautiful, and her dark brown eyes sparkled as she gazed into Simeon’s own knowing eyes. When she spoke, her voice was soft and melodic. “His name is Jesus. It is the name given by the angel who came to me before he was even conceived in my womb; today is the day we present him to the Lord.” She stroked her son’s tiny head and smiled. How proud she was of her little lamb, the one Yahweh had sent to save men from their sins.
Simeon placed his wrinkled hand on Mary’s arm. “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed – and a sword will pierce even your own soul – to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”*

Mary was a little taken aback by his words. What did he mean that a sword would pierce her soul? Her thoughts were interrupted by Joseph, her husband, who had placed his hand on her shoulder. “Mary, we must go.” He said, holding up a cage that contained two noisy young pigeons, their required sacrifice according to the Law of the Lord.

Simeon, with slightly trembling arms, handed the child back to his mother. Tears again flowed from his eyes; tears of joy and not sorrow. The Holy Spirit had promised that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. How blessed he was this day, for he had indeed seen the Christ, the promised Messiah. And soon he would be with his Lord, which would be the result of his own promise from the Lord being fulfilled.

He watched the parents carry their infant away to have him dedicate to the Lord. They disappeared into the crowd, and Simeon could no longer see them from the multitude of people coming and going. Joy filled his heart as he whispered into the breeze, “Oh yes, after such a long wait, you my child are indeed the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken long ago.”

* Scripture taken from Luke 2:29-32; 34-35 NASB

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/13/06
I really liked this re-telling of Simeon's story! Very atmospheric and compelling. This is just a teensy suggestion: in the 4th paragraph, consider changing "The Holy Spirit was upon him" to "The Holy Spirit came upon him" (or "descended," or some such verb) to give the action more immediacy. Nice details gave this a realistic feel. Bravo!
Helen Paynter04/13/06
Lovely writing. Just my own opinion - I would have paraphrased the speeches to make them fit better, rather than quoting them directly. And I would have liked a little more attention given to the dawning of the realisation that HERE was the Messiah.
Lynda Schultz 04/13/06
Very nicely done. Good description and feeling.
Virginia Gorg04/14/06
Nice retelling of a familiar story. I sometimes wonder just how Simeon really felt - you sort of captured some of that.
T. F. Chezum04/18/06
Nicely written. Good job.
Joe Moreland04/18/06
This is one of my favorite passages in the bible. Simeon's wait for the messiah so he can finally die is so uplifting, joyous and sad all at once. I loved your telling of it. The only nit-picking I have with it, is that I would have loved to seen more description of Simeon recognizing this child as God. To me, the whole beauty of this story is that Simeon was one of the rare men who was so close to God that he was able to recognize him when he finally came face to face with him. You did do a good job of getting that point across, and the emotion of Simeon finally arriving at his consolation was excellent.
Nice job! Thank you.
Suzanne R04/20/06
Mary's "little lamb" - how innocent she felt it and how deeply Simeon knew it - that was an extremely good choice of phrase.

Great writing! Well done.