The Meeting of the Lord, 2012

At the end of forty days after the Nativity of the Savior, according to the mosaic law the Virgin Mary's days of purification were observed. Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus to Jerusalem: To present Him to the Lord, And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:22, 24-26).

Why had he been given this promise? The Righteous Simeon had been one of the seventy translators who translated the Bible into Greek as commissioned by King Philadelphus of Egypt. When the Righteous Simeon translated the prophet Isaiah he doubted that the verse: A Virgin shall conceive (7: 14) was correct and wanted to change “Virgin” to “Young Woman” but an Angel of the Lord held back his hand, saying: Have faith in the words written, and you yourself will see their fulfillment, for you shall not see death before you shall see Christ the Lord.

Upon taking the Infant in his arms, Elder Simeon declared: Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (Luke 2:29). He knew he would die, but having seen the Savior, departed life with joy. He also foretold the future of the God-child: Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against (Luke 2:34). The Pharisees and the scribes did not accept this because they loved their power. Unfortunately even among Christians the word of Christ can become “a sign which shall be spoken against” as seen in heresies and schisms resulting from insufficient sacrifice and self-abnegation because of a desire to serve both God and mammon.

We have the Orthodox faith, praise God, which contains Christ's uncorrupted Truth; and let it show when we meet Christ on the day we die, to say with hope the Righteous Simeon's prayer: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.