This scripture today is the conclusion of Advent readings. I don’t know how many of these scripture readings you’ve followed along with, if you’ve enjoyed them or learned anything new. I know everyone says time flies and that’s what happened here. It’s been 4 full weeks of daily advent readings – what to do? Here’s my first thought no matter where we go from here. Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Treat yourself to joy every day!
So here we are at the end of advent reading about this beautiful experience of Simeon, a deeply spiritual man who had been promised that his life wouldn’t end until he had seen the Messiah. When he went to the temple where the baby Jesus was with his parents, Joseph and Mary, Simeon not only saw the Messiah, he held him in his arms. Can you imagine holding a baby you knew had come to be light in a dark world?
Luke 2:21-35 (The Message)
When the eighth day arrived, the day of circumcision, the child was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived. Then when the days stipulated by Moses for purification were complete, they took him up to Jerusalem to offer him to God as commanded in God’s Law: “Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God,” and also to sacrifice the “pair of doves or two young pigeons” prescribed in God’s Law.
In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:
God, you can now release your servant;
release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.
Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother,
This child marks both the failure and
the recovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood and contradicted—
the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty,
as God reveals who they really are.
Send the season out with joy and en ergy – Hallelujah – presented by Mannheim Steamroller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0pTBNkt9g4