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01/04/2017

DEPARTING

He took Him up in his arms and blessed God ...
(Luke 2:28a).           Read Luke 2:28-33.
 
Most of us really anticipate Christmas homecomings and
get-togethers, but few of us look forward to that moment
we have to depart. Saying goodbye is rarely easy, but it's
wonderful to leave on peaceful terms, returning to normal
life with warm memories of Christmas.
 
Simeon thinks of something similar as he steps up to the
young couple and takes the Child in his arms. He says,
"Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
according to Your Word; for my eyes have seen Your
salvation." Many have taken Simeon's words to mean he
was old or close to death, but not necessarily. He had
spent years anxiously waiting to see the consolation of
Israel, and now the suspense has finally ended. Looking
down into the face of the Christ Child, he knows he can
live out the rest of his life with this peaceful, joyous
memory.
 
Simeon points out that God has prepared His salvation
before the face of all peoples. He doesn't want us to look
at a baby in a manger and get warm fuzzy feelings.
Instead, we are to be confident that Jesus Christ came
into this world to make us right before God. He came to
save us from death and hell by His suffering, death and
resurrection.
 
Joseph and Mary both marvel at the things Simeon says
about Jesus. For the first time they learn He has come
not only for the people of Israel, but for people of all
nations. Through Luke's words we, like Simeon, have
looked upon the Christ Child: our Lord and Savior.
Because of His life, death and resurrection, we can pass
the rest of our days in peace and faith.
 
THE PRAYER:
 
Heavenly Father, thank You that I can depart this
Christmas season in peace, having seen Your salvation
in the Child of Christmas, Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)
 

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