SCRIPTURE: LUKE 2:29-32
Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: A Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.
REFLECTION by Ellen Coleman
I took a Hebrew class in college that changed my life. Hebrew is a difficult and wonderful language, where every stroke of every letter has multiple different meanings. There are even many meanings to the spaces and breaths between the letters. It is deeply spiritual, and when it is written or spoken, it leaves room for divine grace to be active. When you’re in the process of learning Hebrew, you have to learn in a different way; you have to write the words on your heart, so they flow out of you. Learning scripture and the stories of God happens much the same way. We read them differently than we would a regular book; we read them with the Holy Spirit very near to us.
Nana, my grandmother, helped me write the Song of Simeon on my heart. It was the second thing I ever memorized (the first being the Lord’s Prayer), and she helped me write those words on my heart every night before I went to bed. When I was a kid, I simply added it to the list of prayers and aphorisms that Nana “made” me learn. Now, the Song of Simeon is a revelation every time I see it, hear it, or say it. The words are written on my heart, with the Holy Spirit very close, and are a way in which my soul just knows Jesus and makes way for him in the world.
I loved my Hebrew class because it felt like saying my prayers with Nana at night: thoughtful, peaceful, important. Somewhere along the way, the name Simeon popped up, and I learned the many levels of meaning of the name of the man who saw Jesus in the temple and just knew because the Holy Spirit rested on him. The Hebrew letters that make up the name Simeon mean he who hears, tidings, report, a thing heard, that which is caused to be heard, and hearing with acceptance. Simeon heard the words of the prophets and had written them on his heart, fully trusting in God’s promise to the nations. Like Simeon, let’s write the Story of God on our hearts and let the Holy Spirit speak through and in between our words.
Gracious God, let us know the light of Christ. The light that restores sight to the blind, the light that gives hope to those who can no longer see Your way, the light that lets us see the Truth in all things. Amen.
May God’s light that illumines you; be in you, around you, and with you always. Amen.