All things new I: redefining hope

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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. (Luke 2.25 NRSV)

Simeon is an interesting figure. He gives us a snapshot of the hopes and aspirations of first century Israel. They are back in their land, they have their temple but they are far from experiencing the promises of God that parts of Scripture reminded them of. They are longing for consolation, for the redemption of Jerusalem from the pagan rulers and for God to come dwell with them again and rule for them.

What I hope to do in this series is explore Isaiah 40-55 and the promises made to Israel. I don’t suppose to be on top of these chapters, but I love them dearly and hope to grasp them better through this series.
One of the things I hope to do is to see how these hopes are not just for Israel but for the entire world, as Jesus the true light of the world brings a new hope.

Looking at Jesus afresh often brings surprises. Sometimes we find that the answers he gives us are not the ones we were looking for. Looking at Jesus  requires we shift our thinking about how God has worked, is working and will work in the world.

Simeon himself was forced to do this, as he held the new born Jesus in his arms, he made a massive shift in his thinking as to how God would satisfy the hope of Israel

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. (Luke 2.29-32 NRSV)

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