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What the Angels envisioned – “peace on earth” – Simeon envisions as
well. Here are the words of this aged saint who spent his time waiting
for the Messianic kingdom:

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous
and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy
Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Moved by
the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in
the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant
in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have
prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the
Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”


Surely the temptation for someone like Simeon, someone who had suffered so long and who had waited so long, was to become triumphalist and dominant and heavy-handed. Surely he was tempted to think “Yes, now that the Messiah is here we can destroy the Romans.” But not Simeon. He sees the birth of the Messiah to be the Day when the light of God, a revelatory light, will give light to the Gentiles. And he does not take up the triumphalist song against his own contemporaries either: he’s happy for his nation. “And for glory to your people Israel.”

Christmas is about expanding the work of God to others, including one’s enemies.

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