Recently, a church gifted Simeon’s Moment, a very special painting by artist Ron DiCianni, to me and GFF. Simeon was a devout man who loved God and longed for the “consolation of Israel.” This is a brilliant description for two reasons.
First, that term which is used to describe Jesus’ Coming is the same term that is used by Jesus to describe the Coming of the Holy Spirit. Thus, it captures the Divine nature of both the Son and the Spirit. As John 14:26 says: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Thus, the same term of the meaning of consolation is used both times.
Second, not only is this a captivating description of Divinity, but it is also a clear declaration of the Gospel’s reach to the whole world—to the Jews first but also to the Greeks and the Gentiles alike unto the ends of the earth! (Romans 1:16, 3:29) Simeon said of the new-born Lord’s Christ that he is “…a light to lighten the Gentiles, [AND] the glory of thy people Israel.” Not that he came to comfort people in their sin, but to confront them in their sin to set them free. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (Jn.8:36) That is indeed a great consolation which the Gospel brings to the weary sinner!
The painting is of the rejoicing Simeon who sees and holds the Christ Child for the first time. “The Lord’s Christ” is pictured in the painting as the light of the world in two ways, according to the artist himself. First, he integrates the Star of Bethlehem with the Son of God which led the wise in their seeking of him. Second, he illuminates the light of that star so that it sheds its light abroad to the overlaying map of the world which leads the lost to find their Savior “…if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:” (Ac.17:27)
What a great gift to our mission which I will treasure always! Thank you for praying for the light of this consolation to continue shining in very dark places due to God’s love being spread abroad by the sacrificial labors of his servants.
GFF General Director