What image comes to your mind when you worship or think upon God? Does your mind recount images from the “Passion of the Christ” movie? Do you see a bleeding Savior on a cross? Do you imagine a bright light? Do you hear a deep booming voice and lightning? Do you see a consuming fire? Do you see a long-haired, robed man calling you to follow Him? What do you often see when you close your eyes? Please close your eyes right now and capture that image in your head that you see most often. Have you done it yet? Whenever you’re ready, you can move on to the next paragraph.
Also, what physical posture do you assume most often when worshiping God? Do you stand, kneel, bow your head, lay down, dance, clap, lift hands, weep, sing, sit quietly at His feet?
All of these images and postures have some scriptural-basis. Posture in worship is important. Clapping, shouting, singing are things that we all do with our bodies. But in the book of Luke, a new thing was about to happen. A man was going to worship the Lord in a posture that had never been performed in all of scripture. It was a New day, A New Covenant was upon us, and He was going to worship God in a New way, with a never-before-done bodily posture of worship. Would God rebuke this new posture?
Look what happened:
Simeon was allowed a most incredible, and unique opportunity! He is the only man in Scripture who is recorded as “holding God in his arms”. We lift our hands towards God, but Simeon was allowed to hold God in his hands. Are YOU allowed to think upon God as a baby and worship Him the same way that Simeon did??? This is about to get really good for some of you.
What did Simeon see? He saw that God decided to become very vulnerable. God was a baby. The almighty became incredibly vulnerable to him! God needed human touch, God needed to be held, God needed someone to smile at him, God needed our warmth, God needed to be fed. Simeon may have reflected more on this and thought: God could feel my arms. God knows what’s it like to be held by me. God could feel my warmth. God could sense my joy. All these thoughts must have been circling in his head at one time or another.
Here is a thought that I personally believe stayed with Simeon for the rest of his life: The Almighty who has always held the world in His hands has stripped Himself to the point where He is so vulnerable that now…now…I hold Him…completely. God trusts me to hold Him. This is how vulnerable the God of fire by night has become to me!
Did the Father step in and say, “NO, RELEASE HIM NOW! You must never dare to think that you could hold God in your arms and worship in that way. Simeon, you should have never picked him up! You should have bowed and worshiped at his feet with gifts!!!! How dare you take on the position of holding Him! You can bow, you can dance, you can kneel, you can lay prostrate, you can shout, you can lift your hands towards Him, you can sing, you can give offerings in His name, you can clap, you can kiss the Son, but you can never put Him in a position of being dependent upon you. You can never hold him in your arms!!! He’s God Almighty and you must reverence him. Holding him in your arms is too vulnerable. God is not vulnerable!!!!!!!!! And that my friends is the position that many theologians want us to believe: God is not that vulnerable to us. A man could never be allowed to hold God, God is simply not that vulnerable, We can never be allowed to hold God (More on this in my upcoming book).
But God did allow that. God did become that vulnerable to you and me. Scripture says, “Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but EMPTIED Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:6-7
Today, God is still that vulnerable and available. The scripture did not have to tell us that Simeon took Him in his arms. It could have told us that he stood there and praised God. It is written in the scripture so that you could read, see, know, and do. We lift our hands in faith thinking upon Him at the cross, and our minds are filled with “God shed His blood and forgives me”. What is to prevent us from using our faith to hold out our cradled arms to the “child that was given to us” and allow our hearts to be filled with “God has made Himself this vulnerable to me. He feels my warmth, my joy, and my pains. God holds me and I hold Him.” We are vulnerable to each other and have a real relationship beyond Master-puppet. Some will say, but He is no longer the Baby given unto us and we shouldn’t ever worship Him as such. I would reply that He is no longer on the cross either; should I stop worshiping Him as our Sacrifice?
Simeon held Him and praised God for allowing him to see the Messiah whose everlasting arms would one day be stretched upon that cross. But at this moment, the everlasting arms would be leaning totally upon his.
Simeon forever held a memory of His Messiah as a precious vulnerable child who could be held. I believe that this is what Simeon would see whenever he closed his eyes to worship. Today, we need prayer warriors with the eyes of Simeon. Prayer warriors who are not confused, but truly believe that God is truly vulnerable. Vulnerability is a key in real relationship. Make yourself vulnerable to Him today, and KNOW that He has made Himself vulnerable to you.
This Christmas, hold out your arms and by faith cradle Him in worship as Simeon did. For unto you a Child was born, will you embrace Him? This is not a new message, it’s a 2000 year old memory that Simeon will never forget…And it was written for you. Worship the Child who has become vulnerable for you.