Friday, December 23, 2011

For All People

We spent a lot of time in Bible class yesterday looking at the canticles of Luke 1-2. We also saw how these songs lifted from the word given before. Mary's Magnificat is similar to Hannah's song and the song of Habakkuk. Zechariah's Benedictus begins with the words which end Book Four of the psalter, and the rest of the song is drawn from other psalms and prophets.

Pastor pointed out how Simeon's song borrows from what the angel told the shepherds. (Remember: the shepherds made all those events widely known.) There were plenty of messiah-figures showing up in Palestine over the years, exciting the Jews' passion to kick Roman butt. But would this messiah be for everyone? Heck no -- he'd restore the Jews to their place of supremacy.

But that messiah wasn't the one God had in store.

God had promised Abraham that all the nations of the world would be blessed in his Seed. When the angels proclaimed the glad tidings to the shepherds, they too said the news was "a great joy which shall be for all people." Ah ha! That lines up with what God had said 2000 years earlier. And then Simeon shows up in the temple on the right day, singing about the "salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people." Simeon knew the veracity of the shepherds' story because it was in sync with God's promises handed down through the centuries.

The word of the Lord never fails.

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