‘Good Christian Friends, Rejoice’

Scripture Reading — Luke 2:25-33

“My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations. . . .” — Luke 2:30-31

Expecting parents wait about nine months for the arrival of their newborn baby. When the child finally comes, there is a sense of relief and excitement. Nine months is a long time to wait.

Now, imagine you are waiting for the birth of a baby that would bring salvation to people everywhere. Imagine waiting year after year for this baby to be born. Imagine the sense of joy and relief when you are finally able to set your eyes on this child. That was Simeon’s experience.

We do not know how long Simeon waited. But we do know that he was an old man “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” The Spirit of God had revealed to Simeon “that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” So we tend to assume he was waiting for a long time.

Then one day the Spirit moved Simeon to go and see this child at the temple. Imagine the joy and the excitement Simeon must have felt! At last he was able to see the Messiah who had come to save, and he took the child in his arms and gave praise to God.

“Good Christian Friends, Re­joice” is a medieval German folk song calling us to rejoice that Christ has come. It calls us to sing “with heart and soul and voice” that “we are blest forevermore.” For “Jesus Christ was born to save!”—yes, he was “born to save!”

Prayer

Thank you, Jesus, for coming to “open heaven’s door” so that we all might be saved through you. Amen.