Aloha Friday Message – February 2, 2020 – Fill this prescription for prophets

2005AFC020220 – Fill this prescription for prophets

Read it online here, please. And please, when you visit there, use one of the social media links at the bottom of the page to share this post. Thank you! And remember, we now have a READER VIEW available, so share this link or this email often.

 Luke 2:29-32 29 Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

(↨ Music Link – let your servant go in peace)

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! ¡Que la bendición esté siempre con ustedes y que Dios los bendiga, Amados! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Belovéd!) Today’s Key Verse is one of the most beautiful prayers in the New Testament.

It is the prayer of Simeon. Luke tells us (beginning at Luke 2:2525 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. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 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, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God …   

Presentation of The Lord

   We see that Simeon, in Hebrew “Shimown” [shim-one’} a name that means “hearing,” is a “righteous and devout man.” He was careful about observing divine laws, a virtuous man who faithfully and consistently kept God’s commandments. He was a pious man who took care to reverence God and the Temple in Jerusalem. Most importantly we are told, “the Holy Spirit rested on him.” Like the Old Testament prophets, he was “enveloped” in the Holy Spirit – remember how we discussed that when David was anointed King by Samuel, “the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.” (See 1 Samuel 16:13) This is how the presence of the Holy Spirit is described in the Old Testament prophecies; the Holy Spirit “rushed upon” the Prophet and helped them or led them to do a specific task. After Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost, we know the Holy Spirit dwells within us – permanently!

Simeon had been waiting for “the consolation of Israel” – the coming of the Messiah. Walking in, and led by, the Spirit, Simeon glimpses Joseph, Jesus, and Mary. In his heart and mind, the Holy Spirit reveals that the child with this couple is indeed “the Holy One of Israel.” Rejoicing in the Spirit, he gives us the canticle (song) that confirms God’s promise that Simeon would not die until he had seen the Messiah. He takes the child in his arms, and speaks as the Holy Spirit directs prophesying that Jesus is the “consolation of Israel,” and later he tells Jesus’ Blesséd Mother Mary that she will suffer great anguish as her son fulfills his mission. This is followed by statements from the prophetess Anna who tells everyone who is nearby that this child will be a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that “… the LORD has comforted his people, has redeemed Jerusalem.” (See Isaiah 52:9) All of these people are present in this scene because Mary and Joseph are following the prescription of the law. That prescription portrays this little family as devout, faithful Jews who rightly were faithful to the Law set down by God through Moses. Please see Leviticus 12:2-8 for the full description of these requirements. There you will see that there were very specific instructions provided for new parents. Let’s take just a moment and examine what is meant by “as prescribed in the Law of Moses.”

The verb prescribe has some pretty obvious roots:  pre as in before and scribe as in written. Something that is prescribed is something that was “written before” in an authoritative manner or tone as something that lays out rules of conduct, specific directions, or laws. Mary and Joseph did what was prescribed by law. They followed the rules for ritual (legal) uncleanliness,  the waited the prescribed period before performing the prescribed acts of atonement for Mary and consecration for her firstborn Son, Jesus. In every aspect of Jesus’ life – first with his parents and later on his own as he entered his ministry (e.g., his baptism), the Holy Family did what was just, and right, and prescribed. In fact, throughout the history of Israel, there were those who served God most and best did what God prescribed: They honored him, they conveyed his instructions as his spokespersons, they obeyed his Law – especially to Love him. The Lord set out prophets and judges and Priests as leaders to guide his people in the ways of faithful service. Time and time again, his people failed to follow his prescriptions,  and time and time again, he chastised them while still demonstrating that there was HOPE in believing and loving him. Now, as his master plan comes together, the plan he first set forth in Eden, once again he speaks to Israel through the prophets. Simeon, walking in the Holy Spirit, declares the Messiah is finally come. Anna reinforces his message by referencing Isaiah’s propheCy in chapter 52 which tells how the “Suffering Servant” that restores Jerusalem to holiness and who will bring good news (the Gospel) about the redemption of Israel and the gentiles as well. These prophecies, communications directly from God, are in a sense part of the outcome of prophecy as well as the content of prophecy.

This is one of the most prevalent ways God guides us: he tells us what to do, he tells us how to do it, he tells us what the consequences will be for both obedience and disobedience, and then he allows us to decide which of those two options we will embrace. As is the case with all of God’s plans, this one is perfect. God will prescribe and we should subscribe. What God has decreed, we must accede. We must do as he commanded or we will be remanded. Moses said it first – and it was his prophecy – in Deuteronomy 30:19-2019 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Belovéd, what has God prescribed for us? In what ways can we also serve him as he requires? Is there a way that we, too, can live and speak as a Prophet by being devout and righteous? The Apostle Paul has some very wise words for those of us who yearn to follow all the Lord has prescribed:

Galatians 5:16-25 16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

If ever there was a prescription for prophets and their prophecy, that passage certainly meets the requirement of an authoritative pronouncement for rules of conduct. Jesus’ summary of his Father’s prescription was even more succinct: Matthew 22:37-40 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. And that, Belovéd, is the Key to Peace.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer. (NEW ENTRIES ….)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Type answer *

Pages Email Newsletter Categories Archives Connect