Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.
Last night, just before bedtime, I read this again. I could see the scene in my mind’s eye and feel the words in my heart. The Bible tells us that Simeon, the author of this prayer, was aged, having prayed faithfully to the Lord in the Tempe of Jerusalem for many years. The Lord had promised Simeon that he would see “the Salvation of Israel” before he died. Forty days after Jesus’ birth, Mary and Joseph bring Him to the Temple in Jerusalem, to offer their first born son to the Lord, as was required, and to make the appropriate sacrifice for Mary’s purification.
The Voice of the Holy Spirit calls to the aged Simeon, who then recognizes Jesus as the Gift that God had promised from ages past. “Now”, Simeon says,” I am ready to be at peace, to sleep with my fathers.” There was no fear in his voice, no concern about death. Simeon had had a long life. He had praised His Creator as was his joy and his work. Now near the end of Simeon’s life, God had fulfilled His promise to His servant. Simeon could go to his rest assured that all would be well.
Such trust in the Lord! May I grow in that trust and be as faithful as Simeon.
Praise be to God!