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December 28

Luke 2, 25-33

Something to read

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. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James version click here

Something to think about

Simeon was fortunate enough to be able to recognise Jesus as the Lord's Messiah. He rejoices at the presence of this child, knowing that a dramatic and real change was going to come to all peoples because of the life of this child.

For him, it means some hard realities: it is the end of his own ministry, and the entering of some trying times for the nation he loves and the couple who present the child Jesus to the temple.

He could have chosen to ignore this child, and try and save his people, all peoples, and the couple the difficulties that would arrive from Jesus' life as Messiah.

But he does not ignore the challenge: he accepts it joyfully, for he realises that the difficulties that Jesus' ministry brings forth change the world for the better, and bring forth an eternal life and peace that we cannot fully understand, but give thanks for nonetheless.

Something to do

Is there something you have decided to ignore because you're afraid it's too much trouble to do? Today may just be a good day to do it.

Something to pray

God, you bring before me wonderful, life-changing gifts. So often I fail to recognise what they are, and I turn aside from them. Help me to be ever-present in this life you have given me, so that I may recognise when the gifts of your love, justice and peace are brought before me, so that I may give thanks and move others and myself to follow in these life-building footsteps of Jesus. Amen.

Ryan Sirmons is a minister in the United Church of Christ (USA) who studied at Westminster College, Cambridge.

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