Monday, 4 February 2013

Simeon: Learning to wait well

During a Candlemas Retreat at St Columbas Woking we had space and opportunity  to do our own thing.  So I tried my hand at an 'icon', using oil pastels on an A4 art sheet (larger than my normal A6 pad).  More a impressionist painting than a proper, spiritual 'writing' of an icon. It was based on, or rather 'inspired' by an actual orthodox icon:   

I loved the cheek-to-cheek intimacy in the picture. As always the Christ-figure looks more a small adult than a child. And Simeon does not look that old... 

Simeon, if you remember, is the old man, who is on the scene when Jesus is presented in the Jerusalem temple (Luke 2:22-40).   He is described as 'righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him'.  
When he sees the Christ-child he proclaims what is now called the nunc dimittus or 'Canticle of Simeon'. He declares, among other things, Jesus to be 'a light to lighten the nations and the glory of your people Israel'.    

I played a version Harry Christophers Ikon album 'The Sixteen'  during the 8 o'clock communion service on Sunday  You can listen to a sample here 

Here is another YouTube version sung by Aled Jones with Ben Crawley - Nunc Dimittis

Learning to wait well 

Watching and waiting
for Salvation to appear,
for the Promise to be fulfilled,  
for an Infant to be born. 
Recognising the small and insignificant One 
for what He is in all His potential.
And being content....
It is enough.  

Help me to be content,
with small beginnings
even when time seems to be running out.  

Haiku Prayers

I like the simplicity of Japanese haiku poems (17 syllables in 3 phases -  5,7,5)... 
Lord let your servant
depart in peace, for my eyes
have seen Salvation

Simeon watching
for salvation to appear,
Learning to wait well

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