Date: January 7, 2018
Speaker: John Fonville
Series: Five Songs of the Nativity
Scripture: Luke 2:21–2:35
Tags: judgment, mosaic covenant, abrahamic covenant, righteousness, Circumcision, Temple, Exodus, Praise, Liturgy, Epiphany, Purification, Mary, Joseph, Jew, Gentile, wise men, active obedience, passive obedience, Book of Common Prayer, Nunc Dimittis, Simeon, prophecy, Song of Simeon, universal, Anna, Apostolic Constitutions, light, presentation, resignation, sword, consolation
The Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)- The Song of Simeon is the fifth and final song that clusters around the nativity story in the opening chapters of Luke’s Gospel. This is Spirit-filled hymn of praise and resignation sung by an aged Jewish layman named Simeon. The Song of Simeon repeats the basic themes of the prior four hymns in Luke’s Gospel. However, in the Song of Simeon, there is a new emphasis that comes into a sharp focus. The baby that Simeon takes up into his arms is the fulfillment of God’s universal plan of salvation for all people—Jew and Gentile. However, not all is good news. Simeon also explains to Joseph and Mary that their baby is not only God’s salvation but also God’s judgment. Thus, the Song of Simeon shows that neutrality with Jesus is impossible. The Song of Simeon leaves every person with a vital question: Do you believe Him or not? Are you for Him or Against Him?