from Luke 2, wonders of seeing – Advent 2022

9 Dec

22 ‘When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (las it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord” 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 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. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 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, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.

30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,

31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”’

How does, what does Simeon, a devout, loving man, see?

He sees, hears by the Spirit. The Spirit reveals to him that he will ‘see’ the Messiah before he dies; after many years of waiting, this same Holy Spirit moves Simeon to the temple courts. And now Simeon sees…

He sees a family consecrating a first born to the Lord. He sees that they bring the most the could, the poorest offering that can be given to the temple; he sees the boy, forty days old; and then he holds Jesus in his arms and prophesies, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.”

He sees salvation; he sees light; he sees God’s glory. He sees and feels the peace of Jesus. Bathed in light, bathed in the Spirit, Simeon shares, prophesies, the light of a promise fulfilled; the Lord’s Messiah-‘salvation.’ Jesus.

Yet, in this moment, Simeon also sees darkness: hearts’ thoughts dark revealed; people rising and falling- Mary’s coming sorrows, a mother’s soul pierced. Darkness.

So, Simeon’s light, his Holy Spirit’s light, reveals sorrows and darkness alongside salvation.

He sees the whole Jesus, the whole story of Advent: light with darkness.


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