The real story behind 'Now I can die in peace'

The real story behind 'Now I can die in peace'
photo by Margaret H. Laing

Like many residents of the North Side, I watched the World Series with interest, even though I am not a close follower of the Chicago Cubs.

I watched it partly for the joy of seeing something I’d never seen happen before, a Cubs championship.

But since the series has been won, I’ve been watching language with even more concern than usual. That’s because I keep hearing Cubs’ devotees saying “Now I can die in peace.”

That’s a very deep expression. Its origins go back to the Bible. Here’s the story:

“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; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant 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 for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

— Luke 2:25-32 (New Revised Standard Version)

Thus, saying “Now I can die in peace” isn’t just ordinary hero worship (which would be bad enough in itself). It’s equating the Cubs’ victory with the revelation of the infant Jesus to one of the very first Christian believers.

Enjoy the game. Love the way “Wait ’til next year!” now sounds even more hopeful.

But don’t get your salvation wrapped up in this.


Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.

Filed under: Expressions


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  • I'd rather live in peace.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Well put, my friend. Thank you.

  • Margaret, a point very well-taken. Nicely done.

  • In reply to Michelle Babicz:

    Thank you, Michelle.

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