Christmas Week – Friday

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Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation. – Luke 2:29-30.

When Christ was born, there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, the promised Savior; and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, before – O what blessing! – before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Now, six weeks after the birth of Jesus, when Joseph and Mary brought the Child to the temple at Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of purification, as prescribed in the ceremonial law (Exodus 13:2; Leviticus 12), this aged Simeon, moved by the Spirit, also came to the temple. As soon as he saw the Child, he took Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said: “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” Joseph and Mary saw and heard this, and were filled with wonderment. (See Luke 2:22-33 for the full account.)

God is just as gracious to us as He was to Simeon. We can likewise see the Savior while we live, namely, in His Word and holy Sacraments. Our hearts, too, rejoice in Him in blissful joy through the Holy Ghost who is given to us. And so we, too, shall one day depart in peace; for he that sees and embraces his Savior in true faith, and rejoices in Him, has eternal life.

 

PRAYER. – I thank Thee, Lord Jesus, my only Savior, my Life and my Salvation, that by faith I see Thee, and embrace Thee, and rejoice in Thee. Now I know that when my last hour shall come, I shall depart in peace. Grant me Thy Holy Spirit, that at all times, I may look to Thee, and, embracing Thee, may always find my greatest joy in Thee. And when my last hour comes, give, O give, to me that eternal peace which Thou hast earned for me, O Jesus! Amen.

 

Yea, Lord, Thy servants meet Thee,

In ev’ry holy place

Where Thy true Word has promised

That we should see Thy face.

Today Thou still dost grant us

Who gather round Thee here

In arms of faith to bear Thee

As did that aged seer.

Let us, O Lord, be faithful

Like Simeon to the end,

So that his prayer exultant

May from our hearts ascend:

“O Lord, now let Thy servant

Depart in peace, I pray,

Since I have seen my Savior

And here beheld His day.”

Hymn 138, 2. 4.

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