Isaiah 61:10-62:3 † Psalm 148 † Galatians 4:4-7 † Luke 2:22-40
“The old man held the boy, but the boy held the old man.”
The old antiphon, the poetic couplet the church has sung from ancient times during the feast of Simeon captures it perfectly, doesn’t it? The old man held the boy, but the boy held the old man.
The old man Simeon, who has spent his waning years waiting for a Messiah, for a promise of better times for a people who will outlast him, of God’s goodness and justice, of peace and liberty and vitality once again being unleashed on the world was waiting on the temple grounds, waiting for God to show up. No doubt he had been there many other days waiting. Most days. Watching, praying, expecting.
But on this day when that poor couple walked with their new baby and their meager offering into the temple to have their child marked as God’s and blessed, Simeon knew at once that the promise lay before him in their arms. The Spirit told him Luke tells us—three times to make sure we see the connection, hear the proof. And he reached out and took the child and cradled him, and his heart was full. And as so many actors do in Luke, his heart spilled out in song.
The old man held the boy, but the boy held the old man.
Julie Kae Sigars
Isaiah 35:1-10 • Psalm 146:5-10 • James 5:7-10 • Matthew 11:2-11
It was a strange quarter. Beginning as all quarters do: hopeful…This time, I will keep up with my grading. This time, I will give extra time to my students. This time…this time…Fresh starts are hopeful times….
It was an odd class. Not really, all classes have their quirks. And frankly, my classes are known for being welcoming for the quirky. But this particular class, Song of the Church (yes, really) started out with barely enough students to make the class continue, and then kept adding students as the first two weeks went along. Each had their stories. And several had the need to state them right up front.
“I was raised in the church…not sure about all of this God stuff now….DON’T JUDGE ME.” She actually said this as if it was all capital letters. This young woman also used to sing, but she lost her voice. I remember smiling and saying, welcome. You are in the right class.
“I was raised in the church. [notice the pattern?] And I do not attend now. I think the church thinks they have all the right answers. I think the church pretends to be loving when it really isn’t. The church….the church….Don’t judge me….” but this was a soft, lower case letters plea.
St. Andrew Sermons