What Have We Seen?
Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace…for my eyes have seen your salvation. (Luke 2:29-30)
According to Luke’s gospel, Simeon was a righteous and devout man living in Jerusalem at the time Jesus was born. Luke tells us that he was looking forward to the “consolation of Israel,” and that he was filled with the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit revealed to him that he would not die before he saw the Messiah.
Luke says that Jesus’ parents brought him to the Temple sometime shortly after he was born, “to do for him what was customary under the law.” At the same time, Simeon was guided by the Spirit to also go to the Temple and there he immediately recognized Jesus as the Messiah he and all of Israel had been promised.
Upon seeing the child, Simeon took him in his arms (I wonder what Mary and Joseph were thinking?) and sang this hymn we now call the “Song of Simeon.”
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.
My eyes have seen your salvation.
As yet another Christmas season draws to a close this Thursday, the twelfth day of Christmas, it is a good time to ask what we have seen.
We have seen lots of sparkling lights, twinkling in the night, but have we seen the light of Christ shining in our hearts?
We have seen angels in front yards and nativity scenes, but have we heard God’s messengers bringing us good news of great joy?
We have seen the decorations and the specials on TV and the presents exchanged, but have our eyes seen God’s salvation for us and for our world?
One of my favorite Christmas songs is the classic, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” As the season draws to a close, now is a good time to ask if we have heard, if we have seen, if we know what it is that we have celebrated.
Glory to God, for our eyes have seen your salvation!