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Daily Prayer - 2017-12-31

Presence

Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of Your presence

Freedom

Lord, may I never take the gift of freedom for granted.
You gave me the great blessing of freedom of spirit.
Fill my spirit with Your peace and Your joy.

Consciousness

I am surrounded by your loving presence, Lord,
But I am aware of my fragility and weakness.
Thank you that I can face my shortcomings
In your merciful embrace.

The Word of God

Luke 2:22-40

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 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

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.’

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • For St Luke the Holy Spirit is never far away. Here the Spirit is helping an old man to recognise that God is closer to him than he could have ever hoped. This fills Simeon’s heart with joy. The Holy Spirit dwells in me too: I am his temple! But is he perhaps only a quiet lodger whom I hardly notice? Can I let him be my mentor in making my decisions?
  • The early Christians felt they had arrived at a wise decision when they could say: ‘It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us’ (Acts 15:28). Lord, make me sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings so that the Spirit is pleased with my decisions. This will bring me joy!

Conversation

May your Holy Spirit guide me
In all my dealings with others.
May I use the gift of speech with kindness.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.