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Faith Daily | 29 December 2021

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 476


Almighty God,

you have shed upon us

the light of your incarnate Word:

may this light, kindled in our hearts,

shine forth in our lives;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

COLLECT PRAYER FOR JOHN, APOSTLE and EVANGELIST

Shed upon your Church, O Lord,

the brightness of your light,

so that we, being illumined by the teaching

of John the evangelist,

may walk in the light of your truth,

and be brought to the fullness of eternal life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.



GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 2: 22-35

22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’


25 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. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided 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, 28Simeon* took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant* in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’


33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’


GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Neville Eckersley


Simeon is such a wonderful man with a brief but remarkable role to play in Luke’s gospel. All we know about him is that he was both doing the right thing in his life, he was “righteous,” and was devout. As we shall see, he was close to God and able therefore to see what many others missed.


He was specially favoured by God, being told that he would live to see the long-promised Messiah. So, when the young couple took Jesus into the Temple, Simeon was there, ready to bless the baby and them. He thanked God for fulfilling His promises and gave open declaration of Jesus’ mission.


What was he feeling as he held the delicate little bundle in his arms that day?


How would you feel if you could hold the little Baby of Bethlehem in your arms?


It would be overwhelming for us as it was for him.


His response is his song of praise where he points to the purpose of Jesus’ coming for all nations as well as Israel (verse31). This was a profound insight.


Simeon had a special warning for Mary too, that suffering lay ahead for her along this road Jesus would walk.


Simeon and Anna, in verses 36-8, were confirming in public what had up until this time been a private issue for Mary and Joseph. God was giving reassurance that all was happening as planned, and all was well in the world.


FINAL PRAYER: G.M. Hopkins


Lord, may we learn to be faithful in being close to you as Simeon and Anna were, and as useful as they were in supporting others doing your work in our world.

Guide us and strengthen us in doing what we can for those we meet. Help us to be ready to encourage, listen, help heal and be practical in doing what needs to be done to demonstrate your love to those we love and care for, especially at this festive time.

Guide us by your Spirit we ask

In the name of Christ

Amen.

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