With only three more readings remaining in our Advent and Christmas journey, today’s writing focuses on Simeon, an often over-looked character whose contribution to the Christmas story could not be more clear. For all the statements we have read in recent weeks about Jesus’ coming to earth to bring hope for the poor, justice to the powerful, and strength to the weak, Simeon pointed beyond the temporary consequences to the eternal significance of Christ’s birth. Jesus came to bring salvation, light to the Gentiles and glory to Israel. His birth means that this world – and the death that marks the end of our time here – is only the very beginning of our eternal life with God.
- Luke 2:25-35
- Watch for the Light, 300-306
- Simeon received a unique promise from the Lord that he would see the Messiah before his death, and that promise carried him forward in hope and joy for years. If you were to receive a similar promise from the Lord, how do you think it would affect your approach to worship and your devotion to the Lord? How have the promises you have read in Scripture already influenced your approach to worship?
- Donne writes, “The Church prepares our devotion before Christmas day with four Sundays in Advent, which bring Christ nearer and nearer to us and remind us that he is coming to enable us… to depart in peace, because our eyes have seen his salvation” (302). How does meditating on the birth of Christ into our world help prepare our hearts to one day leave this world in peace? How can remembering his birth bring comfort to a Christian who fears death?
Read Simeon’s blessing to God from Luke 2:29-32. Then, remembering that God has revealed his salvation in full you through his Word, re-phrase these verses in your own words as prayer of praise and blessing to God.
“Lord, now you are letting your
servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”