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Advent Reading: Simeon's Song 1

December 21– December 24

[25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. [26] And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [27] And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, [28] he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

            [29] “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,

                        according to your word;

            [30] for my eyes have seen your salvation

            [31]     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

            [32] a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

                        and for glory to your people Israel.”

[33] And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. [34] And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed [35] (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

Luke 2:25–35

 

Reading 1: 

Most children (and some adults) spend weeks before Christmas making a Christmas list. I used to get the Sears Wishbook and look at the pages over and over. I would memorize the toys that I asked for, and I would count down the days until the toys from the pages of the magazine appeared in my living room on Christmas day.

While the weeks leading to Christmas seemed long to me, there is one man in Luke’s Gospel who has been waiting and hoping and praying and waiting some more for God’s salvation to appear for a long lifetime. He is an old man named Simeon. He steps into the temple and meets Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus.

Around Christmas time, most of us usually think about Jesus’ earthly birth with little thought put toward his heavenly mission. It is hard for us to think that this baby came into the world in order to die. Granted, he came to do a lot more than just die, but dying was a huge part of his mission. When the old man Simeon steps onto the scene in Jerusalem at the temple, he reminds everyone of this child’s special mission.

Simeon was a faithful and devout man who had been waiting for many years for the consolation of Israel. He, like many other Jews, had been waiting for the Lord’s comfort to appear after many dark years. When he meets Mary and Joseph in the temple, he takes the baby Jesus in his arms and declares:

 

“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.” 

 

People in Israel had been hoping for salvation and deliverance for many years. Simeon, filled with the Holy Spirit, declares this baby to be that very salvation. This baby is the one who will deliver the Jews from oppression. He will save them. But, that is not all. This baby is not just salvation for the Jews (God’s chosen people who descended from Abraham). He is also salvation for the Gentiles (everyone else). Some in Israel would have been opposed to God’s salvation being for the Gentiles, too. But, Simeon was delighted and excited. He was pleased that the Gentiles would now be a part of God’s people. He has waited his entire life for God’s promise of salvation, and now he is holding salvation in his hands in the form of a baby. Now, the old man says he can depart in peace. He has seen with his own eyes the salvation of God.

 

 

Think about it

What is something you have waited on for a long time? How did you feel when you finally got it? 

As God’s people, we wait for the day of his return. We long for the day when he will gather his people from all over the world to live with him. Is there anyone you can think of who needs to hear the good news of salvation through Jesus? Spend some time praying for them. Think of ways you can tell them the good news of Jesus this week.

 

Pray

Thank you God for the gift of Salvation through your son Jesus. Thank you for sending Jesus to die so that many people can be saved. Give us strength and boldness to proclaim salvation in the name of Jesus to everyone. Give us compassion to walk alongside others as we seek to follow Jesus every day. Give us endurance to hope and wait on Jesus and the glorious day of his return.