February 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation. Jesus’ earthly guardians, in strict observance of the Old Covenant, make sacrifices for him at the great Temple of Jerusalem. The Lord, carried to and through the event as a passive baby, manifests the perfect obedience by which he is the New Covenant, the perfect offering by which we are presented to God in His eternal Temple.
A part of the Gospel appointed for proclamation on this day is
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.’
(Luke 2:25-32 NRSV)
Repetition is emphasis in the Biblical languages. The three references to the Holy Spirit (resting, revealing to and guiding Simeon) are like exclamation points or TYPING IN CAPS. “Hey, look at THIS,” the Word proclaims.
Simeon is a forerunner of all of us who’ve been baptized into Christ. The Holy Spirit rests upon us in baptism; more of Christ is revealed to us by the Spirit as we live as disciples; our lives are meaningful to Christ’s work and the Spirit will guide us to good works of Christ’s choosing.
May you experience peace, the fruit of the Spirit that Simeon celebrated in his song of praise, knowing that the Lord is preparing you, like Simeon, for glory your whole life long.