Sat, 30 December 2017
(Gn.15:1-6,21:1-3; Ps.105:1-9; Heb.11:8,11-12,17-19; Lk.2:22-40)
“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom,
and the favor of God was upon Him.”
What child is this of whom Simeon the prophet, filled with the Holy Spirit, declares to the Lord, “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all peoples,” even as he holds Jesus in his arms? This indeed is He who is the “light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for [His] people Israel”; this indeed is the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, foreshadowed in the birth of Isaac, by whom Abraham’s descendants would be “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.” “Binding for a thousand generations,” forever, was the covenant the Lord “entered into with Abraham and by His oath to Isaac,” and now that covenant is brought to perfection in the sight of Simeon and Anna; now “all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” could rejoice and “give thanks to the Lord,” for to the temple had come the Christ of God: here is the Messiah.
“Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!” for in Jesus His Son you shall find Him. Though raised in a humble family in the town of Nazareth, this is He who raises all His chosen unto heaven, who brings salvation to His people. And so rejoice indeed “you descendants of Abraham, His servants, sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!” for even as “there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead,” innumerable descendants, even as the Lord fulfilled His promise to Abraham by the birth of Isaac, so the Lord’s promise to Simeon “that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord” is fulfilled in all our midst even this day. Listen to the prophet’s proclamation: the light has come! We are no longer in darkness, no longer in mournful anticipation. And so with Anna we should come forward now and speak “about the child” to all who will listen, to all who long to hear the good news of God.
Brothers and sisters, let the Lord grow in our midst. In this Holy Family that is His Church let Him be nurtured and known. For God’s favor rests upon Him alone and by no other child does salvation come. Today He is presented to all waiting hearts.
Written & chanted by James Kurt; read by Sylvia Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.
Music by Abouna Joseph; used by permission.
O LORD, let your Word be fulfilled
in the lives of all your children –
let our eyes see your salvation.
YHWH, your Word you fulfill in our midst for you are faithful. Your Christ you send among us to save us from our sins that we might be as your children forever. Let us enter your generation, LORD, and be of your Holy Family.
Your Son has become our brother and so we know you as our Father, LORD. Your promise is fulfilled and He now dwells among us – and so you, too, are with us. From the womb of the Virgin Mary is born a Child with whom we grow into your holy image; we are made pure as she by the grace upon her Son.
In Nazareth let us make our home, O LORD, with Jesus and Mary and Joseph; then our home in Heaven will be secure and even here we will have your blessing. Though a sword must pierce our heart as it has with Jesus and Mary and Joseph and all your saints, yet we shall rejoice in your goodness toward us, that you make us fruitful with Abraham as children of a living faith. Let us become strong and wise in your sight.