Simeon and Anna

Michael Wilcock

READ : Luke 2:22-38

. . . salvation . . . prepared in the presence of all peoples. (vv. 30-31)

Luke is not yet quite ready to show his Gospel reaching out to “all sorts and conditions of men,” to use a phrase from the Book of Common Prayer. First he wants to introduce two more Jewish people, Simeon and Anna. They are old, like Zechariah and Elizabeth, and like them they are steeped in the old faith of Israel and they hark back to God’s ancient promises.

But so far from being stuck in the past, these two are looking to the future. Zechariah’s son John and Mary’s son Jesus have both now been born, and it is the baby Jesus that Simeon and Anna encounter on this never-to-be-forgotten day.

God has given them the Spirit of prophecy, both to see and to say what is really happening. God’s people have long been awaiting the “consolation of Israel” and the “redemption of Jerusalem,” and now here he is! More than that, he will be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” as well as “glory to your people Israel.”

The great hope for the nations, for the people of every kind and background whom Luke will be describing, is in this Child alone. How indebted we all are to God’s Old Testament preparation for his coming.

PRAYER

Thank you for this light from the past that still illuminates the path ahead of us.