The Sunday after Christmas
Simeon’s song of praise. Aert de Gelder 1645-1727
Themes of old and new weave themselves through the infancy stories of Jesus in Luke. The aged Zechariah and Elizabeth are types of the ancient longing, seen next to the young Mary and Joseph. Now it is Simeon and Anna contrasted with Mary and Joseph who arrive to present Jesus in the Temple. Faithful Simeon is there and Anna, who spent eighty-four years of her widowhood praying constantly in the Temple for the coming of the Messiah. The Holy Spirit tells them that the quiet, gentle couple arriving this day is the answer to their deepest prayer.
Old and new meet; patience and joy embrace. The Song of Simeon sweetly lifts itself every night as those in monasteries bid farewell to a day of grace and fall asleep. May you rest assured that the Lord has indeed come, a fact that the Holy Spirit gives to you right now. Receive the child in the temple of your heart and rest.