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Jesus Creed

For Simeon, Christmas meant “salvation (Luke 1:30).
What does “salvation” mean for Simeon? This could be answered by asking how Luke uses this term, which is a big, big term for him and which refers to the fullness of God’s redemptive gospel, but it is better (I think) to see just what it might mean for Simeon.
My contention: here is a window onto what Christmas meant for Simeon.
Salvation means “light” — and this can only mean redemptive enlightenment, the disclosing of mystery to people as the new day dawns, the opening of minds and hearts and souls and bodies to God’s gospel work in the Messiah. The light of Simeon, since he perceives in the Temple, might be the “light” Zechariah sung about — and, if so, that light is about redemption for all the world.
Salvation means “universalism” — everyone, young and old, near and far, Gentile and Jew, everyone gets to participate in the Messiah’s blessing.
Salvation means “glory for Israel” — for Simeon, the gospel work in the Messiah whom he is holding in his arms vindicates Israel as God’s people, establishes the redemptive plan in and through Israel, and fulfills what God said would happen for Israel.
Perhaps a suggestion: does your Christmas season close in on itself, does it really exclude by being so inclusive, or does it expand itself by inviting others and including others and welcoming others and finding new folks to sing with you the songs about the Messiah’s arrival?
I’m impressed by Simeon’s scope of vision: an old man in the Temple waiting for the consolation of Israel encounters the parents of Jesus, wraps his aging arms around that little boy, and says “Here’s a gift from God for all of us, not just for Israel, but for the whole world!”

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