“Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; … There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day.” Luke 2:25-27a, 36-37
Simeon and Anna are great examples to us. They are ones who, even in their late years, continue to grow in their relationship with God. Wesleyans call this Sanctifying grace, growing in grace – becoming more like Christ until we are wholly Christ-like. Perfected in love by God’s grace. John Wesley, remained active in ministry into his late eighties, exhorts us, saying, “Let the example of these aged saints animate those who gray heads, like theirs, are a ‘Crown of glory.’” Luke tells us that Jesus continued to grow and mature with God: “The child grew and became strong filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (2-40) “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.” (2-52) Remarking on Jesus spiritual development Wesley suggest, “It plainly follows that though a man were pure, even as Christ was pure, still he would have room to increase in holiness, and in consequence thereof, to increase in the favor as well as in the love of God.” Let us all pursue God, let us all grow in holiness, let us all be perfected by God’s grace – to the point of complete Christ-likeness. May we all continue to serve God, bearing fruit worthy of our salvation, until we are completely transformed. By and through God’s grace it can and will happen. Praise God!