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Welcome to Pastor David Hatch's blog.
Luke 2 : 29 -32 Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.
I trust that you all had a very joyful and peace filled Christmas. It’s always a special time of the year, when families get-together and share presents, enjoy eating, celebrating and making special moments that will be remembered for years to come.
It’s certainly a hectic time, and lots of time and energy will have been spent trying to get everything just right. There will undoubtedly be things that went wrong, or were forgotten….. but a the end of the day….. those things really don’t matter – and are soon forgotten! The times of joy, celebration, feasting, fun and special moments will be the things that will be remembered.
As we come through another Christmas Season I thought we should just have a thought for Simeon and Anna. In all the Christmas Nativity presentations, sadly their part is very rarely mentioned. You might suggest that their “enter stage left” moment was a bit too late to be part of the Nativity play. But on careful reading of Matthew 2, we would soon realise that the Magi didn’t appear for at least several months later, even up to a couple of years! And yet they get their part played every year, and they never did get to the stable at all!
So, I think to give Simeon and Anna their moment, it would be good to read the account that tells us what part they played, before we jump into 2019 and start breaking all our New Year promises!
READ: Luke 2 : 21 – 38
First of all, Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day, and was named Jesus. That’s fine. But in vs 22 we read of another event….. “the time of their purification”. Following the birth of a son, Mary would have to wait 40 days before going to the temple in Jerusalem from Bethlehem, so as to offer sacrifice for her purification, and present her firstborn son, Jesus, to be dedicated to the Lord.
Now, some 40 days after the birth, enter Simeon. He had received a promise through the Holy Spirit some time ago, and he had obviously held onto that promise with some tenacity. When the Romans were in town, then no doubt there were many who were hoping the Messiah would come and kick the gentile occupiers out!
Not only had Simeon held onto the promise he had received, but he was also still living in that promise every day. It never left him. When the Holy Spirit then prompted him to go to the Temple Courts – he went! No questions asked. He was expecting the call….
But then we need to note that the promise wasn’t just that he would see the Messiah before he died, but that he would have further insight into what that day meant… “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
Not just for the Jews – but as Luke points out (being a Gentile himself) Jesus would be a “light and revelation to the Gentiles too.” Anna comes on the scene, and she too confirms what God had been saying to her about this dear child. Amazing moments!
Simeon realised that he was only ready to die when he met the Lord and embraced Him. Some of us don’t want to die until we’ve seen the world. Simeon didn’t want to die until he had seen the Redeemer of the World.
So what promise are you going to hold onto in 2019? What is it that you will not let go of until you see it? Pastor David
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