When Jesus was born, those people who held the hope of seeing the Messiah, had almost lost hope. But when Simeon and Anna saw the baby Jesus, Simeon could say with confidence: “Lord, now you let your servant depart in peace. Your Word has been fulfilled”.
The joy within him is palpable from the words he echoed. He was so happy that he could say: Lord, you can now take me away. I can now die in peace. Such unbridled joy, such happiness is not easy to find when you are living in a situation of oppression, as the people of faith were living then. There was a false peace in the air. Their freedom was circumscribed by the Roman Empire and a clerical class that had compromised with Rome. But none of that mattered to Simeon, because his eyes had seen the salvation which has been prepared in the hearts of all people of faith. The “ordinary people” were the first to see the Good News amongst them, while the ones in power were fearful. The tables had begun to be turned.
Will we open our eyes and our hearts to the Christ during this Season? Will we express the joy of Christ over the next few days and weeks? This is what we, the leadership of SACLI, urge you to do.
The coming of the Christ is the most momentous event. This is the Kairos! This is equal to what happened in Genesis 1 and this is why John could start his Gospel with these words: “In the beginning…” It is the realization that this beginning is both a new beginning, a re-set button, but also a reminder that it is connected to the beginning of Creation when human beings were created “very good”. Goodness, in the form of the baby Jesus, has pitched its tent amongst us. And it is goodness and joy that will always have the last word.
May we experience this joy and goodness over the next few weeks, and may it energize us to enter 2019 with the joy that only Christ can give. May we hold on to this joy in the midst of all the opposites that we will experience in 2019 and remind ourselves: God is our Alpha and Omega, our beginning and end. No worldly power has any power over us! The tables will be turned! Maranatha!