Advent Devotional: Week 3, Part 4

By Bruce Benedict & Elliot Grudem  /  

week three of advent

Singing the Story #4 – The Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)

This song captures Simeon’s gratitude to God. It also captures Simeon’s readiness to die. Yet, it is sung in joy because Simeon has seen the promise fulfilled. It is a wonderful song that captures both God’s desire to extend redemption to the whole world, as well as a blessing with a caveat: this child will cause both the rise and fall of many in Israel.

Luke 2: 22-35
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;

30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

Shedding some light...

In the gospel message there is an intertwined narrative of judgment as well as of salvation. Simeon illustrates that Jesus will be both a great light to the Gentiles, as a well as a sword that would pierce our hearts. We can never experience the joy of Jesus without first facing the sinful thoughts and actions of our own hearts. Part of the good news of the gospel is that it helps us understand the horror of our sin as we find ourselves in the arms of our loving Savior.

Children’s Prayer

Dear God, thank you for forgiving our sins and helping us become more like Jesus.

Adults’ Prayer

Dear Father, you sent us Jesus, the true light of the world. Yet we have often desired to hide in darkness rather than live in the revealing light of your Spirit. Give us eyes that see our sin and dwell on your salvation.

Advent Singing: The Gospel Brings Tidings

Advent Devotional Guide Download

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Compilation and Text
Bruce Benedict

Elliot Grudem

Ladye Jane Vickers

Amelia Reynolds

PO Box 10095 | Raleigh, NC 27605
919-546-0515 |