Thought for the Day by Jan Betts (All Hallows)
In Advent we wait, for the coming and the coming again of Christ the Saviour.
And we remember that many people are waiting: for a new life as refugees, for release from violence of all sorts, for an economic recovery, for the reunion of families, for the end of a prison sentence, and much more.
When Jesus was taken to the Temple as an infant he was greeted by Simeon who had been waiting for many years, patiently and hopefully, for ‘the Christ of the Lord’. Prompted by the Spirit, (and to Mary and Joseph’s astonishment), Simeon recognised the Christ and said:
‘Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. to be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.’Luke 2:29 – 32
Or in The Message:
‘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.’
We wait this Advent, for our celebration of Jesus’ birthday. But with Simeon we recognise that our salvation is already here, a light for us in dark times, and a fierce and steadfast encouragement to help banish the darkness of other people’s waiting by being the passionate love of Christ in the world.
I find this version of Simeon’s words. by a Young Chorister of the Year and a Royal Trumpeter, heart-stoppingly beautiful.