Daily reading: 2 February
The presentation of the Lord.
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.'
- Luke 2:28-32.
Today is Candlemas. The day commemorates the ritual purification of Mary, 40 days after the birth of her son Jesus. This day also marks the ritual presentation of the baby Jesus to God in the Temple at Jerusalem. Simeon held the baby Jesus and called him a Light to the World.
Here we read the absolute Sovereign has kept his promise to Simeon, who now asks the Lord to let him die in peace. In the prophetic praise that follows, Jesus is equated with 'your salvation'.
It is not accidental that Jesus' name, in Hebrew Yeshua (a form of the name 'Joshua'), means literally, 'salvation'. So Simeon looks on the child named 'Salvation' and says, 'my eyes have seen your salvation...'
It is remarkable that Simeon sees Jesus' salvation as extending to all people - Gentiles and Jews alike. This is the same message the angel spoke to the shepherds on Christmas night: 'I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people' (Luke 2:10).
When was the last time you heard good news? Maybe it was a wedding announcement, a birthday or a new job. We all want and wish for good news. The Gospel message tells us Jesus is good news to all people, especially the poor.
Today make your own good news happen - reconnect with a neighbour, work colleague or school friend and let them know you care.
Lord Christ, set me on fire
Burn for me all that dims your light
Kindle an answering flame in lives around;
That darkness may be driven back into this world
Transforming it with love.
Today’s contributor is Dionne Gravesande, Christian Aid’s Senior Ecumenical Relations Manager.
Published on 02 February 2018