Simeon took [the child Jesus] in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
[Luke 2: 28–35]
We have made it! 2021! A new year and a new start. It is possible that it may not feel very different yet, and may not for a while to come – yet change is coming.
When Simeon met Jesus as a baby in the temple, he knew that what he had waited for had finally happened. He had waited years for God to fulfil God’s promise, and finally it had happened. Simeon was filled with joy and hope for the future – a future he knew he would not live to see. Yet Simeon also recognised that this hoped for future would not be easy – especially for Mary, who would suffer as her son was mocked, beaten and eventually killed.
This year we have so much to hope for: the universal rolling out of a vaccine, the chance to meet others as the weather warms, and more… but we need to remember that whilst we have hope and joy in this new year, it may not be easy. Yet as Simeon said: “a light to the nations, the salvation of all people.” This year let us focus on the light, God’s light, and let others see that light in us. This way they too can have hope when it still seems difficult, and joy when all seems sad.
God of past, present and future
We thank you for being with us through the past year,
Through all the pain, suffering and loneliness.
We thank you that you are with us now
Through all the changes and challenges that we are facing.
We thank you that you will be with us in the future
Through all the joys and sorrows, the peace and the struggles.
May we share your presence and love with those around us.
Peace and blessing to all for a happy 2021