Message from the chaplain - 2 February 2018
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which 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 the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being
said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother
Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many
in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner
thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own
It is a seeming “nobody” who notices God (in the person of the baby Jesus) has entered God’s temple – not the temple priests whose role it was to receive the parents and their infant. We are not told the genealogy of Simeon. Simeon’s identity is based not on who his family is but on his relationship with God: on Simeon’s being “righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel”. As per God’s promise to Simeon, Simeon witnesses the beginning of God’s consolation of God’s people: paradoxically, in the form of a helpless baby. Simeon responds with joy and gratitude at God’s fulfilment of God’s promise, but also with deep concern for the young mother who stands before him, for whom he knows the journey ahead will not be easy.
Dear Lord Jesus
Help us, like Simeon, find our identity in serving and worshiping you. Awaken our senses that we too may notice, and be profoundly moved by, your incarnate presence and action in our daily lives.
As Simeon was, may we be faithful in our prayers for the consolation of all that you have created – that all may be one with you, just as you and the Father are one.
Revd Claudia Coustas