"Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:25-32
There is a saying, "Seeing is believing."
Christians shouldn't say that because it is not a statement of faith. For those of us who are of the Faith, "believing is seeing!" and Christmas demonstrates it!
In this portion of the Christmas story Simeon believed in the Christ Child long before he saw him! When the Spirit of God revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the Messiah with his own eyes he believed it! He began hoping for it! It energized his life, while at the same time, freeing him to die!
This is true throughout the Christmas story!
Mary believed it before she saw it. She believed it in spite of the fact that a virgin has never conceived before or after her. It became real before it really happen for Mary!
Joseph believed it before he saw it. He had some crucial decisions to make at a critical juncture of his life and he had to decide if he would base those decisions on what he saw or what he believed. He believed before he saw!
Elizabeth believed before she saw. For many years this barren woman had lived with the belief she could not bear a child. That fact had shaped her reality. Now she was confronted with the promise of a new reality. What would she believe? See chose to see herself as a mother before she became one!
Ironically, the one who seemed to have the hardest time believing without seeing was the priest - Zechariah! The man of faith seemed to have the biggest struggle with faith! He laughed at the announcement! A priest laughing at God is not a good formula. You would think faith would come easier for someone who stands in the presence of God.
You cannot contemplate the Christmas story and draw the conclusion that "seeing is believing". This marvelous miraculous narrative illustrates the principle of faith that "believing is seeing"!
Do you have to see it to believe it or do you live by faith?