The Song of Simeon as an Evening Prayer

The Song of Simeon as an Evening Prayer

The Song of Simeon as an Evening Prayer. 

“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 of revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.”  (Luke 2:28-32).

This Song of Simeon provide the concluding words of the Compline, the nightly service of prayers before retiring for bed. This prayer is recited or sung faithfully on a nightly basis by Christians around the world. Simeon was an old saint who was promised by the Lord that he wouldn’t die without first seeing the long-awaited Messiah. He patiently prayed to that end, and finally the Holy Spirit led him one day to the baby Jesus in the Temple. Simeon cradled the baby Messiah in his arms and spoke these inspired words of blessing over Him.

Simeon’s words at the end of his life are also our words at the end of the day. For we have seen the light and glory of Jesus in our day. We have seen His power and His presence. Thus we can also pray these words of Simeon before our head hits the pillow… We can rest in peace knowing the Messiah has been revealed to all the world. Our spirit has been set free just like Simeon, and we can depart this day, if not this world, in peace.

Jesus is the Light to the Gentiles. In fact, He is the light of the world (John 8:12), who radiates revelation truth to all the nations. He disclosed that which has been hidden, He revealed what before was unknown. His revelation light dispels the darkness. He reveals the path to life eternal. H discloses the nature of God Almighty. The light of Jesus renews our vision and sharpens our focus on truth. As is recited in the Creed, Jesus is “light from light, true God from true God. He is the radiance of God’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3). As has been sung in a popular song, Jesus is Love that comes to us at the speed of light. When Peter, James and John saw Jesus on the mount of Transfiguration, “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2). And when John had a vision of the ascended Jesus, “His eyes were like a burning fire, and His face was the sun shining in all its brilliance” (Rev. 1:14-16). Jesus isn’t merely like a light, it’s not just a metaphor. He literally is the light of truth that shines in the darkness for all the world to see. And all who follow Him become children of light.

Jesus is the glory of Israel. He has indeed brought glory to the nation of God. He brought Himself. He is the glory of Israel. The world has flocked to this Holy One of Israel. The righteous Messiah King, coming from God’s chosen people, has indeed attracted people from all over the world. Israel experienced glory, and it came in the Person of Christ. Simeon’s blessing has prophetically fulfilled the vision of Isaiah 60:1-3“Arise, shine out, for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh has risen on you. Look! Though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples, on you Yahweh is rising and over you His glory can be seen. The nations will come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness. Lift up your eyes and look around…” (New Jerusalem Bible).

Simeon’s prayer over baby Jesus has become our prayer at night. We can now leave the day behind in peace, for the Light has come to us in all His glory.