The fbb Advent Calendar
The fbb Alphabetical Advent Calendar
S for Simeon
Simeon (and Anna, a character who shares the narrative) is one of the unsung and largely ignored heroes of the Nativity story, yet he appears, chronologically, well before the Wise Men turn up; a little less than two years before, in fact.
The time came for Joseph and Mary to perform the ceremony of purification, as the Law of Moses commanded. So they took the child to the Temple in Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
It was the Jewish equivalent of a Christening. And there, in the temple, something weird happened.
Simeon took the child in his arms ...
He would have probably been arrested today!
... and gave thanks to God: "Now, Lord, you have kept your promise, and you may let your servant go in peace. With my own eyes I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: A light to reveal your will to the Gentiles and bring glory to your people Israel."
Somehow, Simeon had got the message. This baby would be a revelation and bring glory through his gift of Salvation - and it would not just be for the Jews; the offer was for non-Jews as well.
Anna, an aged prophetess who actually lived in the Temple, joined in.
That very same hour she arrived and gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were waiting for God to set Jerusalem free.
Mary and Joseph were "astounded" as well they might be.
Yet again we can get the message if we choose to notice; the CHRISTmas baby grew up and was expected to do something very special for all the people.
Simeon is "commemorated" in some church circles by a short Psalm called the "Nunc Dimittis", its title taken from the first words of the "song" as written in Latin.