Friday, December 09, 2011

The Nunc Dimittis as an acceptance of death

Years ago I set Simeon's song to music for SATB with S solo.  No one has ever performed the piece and I'm not sure it's going to get performed.  The Poulenc meets Part harmonic approach wouldn't go over well with volunteer church choirs and it might not be interesting enough or worthy enough to get much attention from better choral groups.  But it did strike me that Simeon's song was a song about accepting death as a death one can enter into in peace.  This does not mean death is anything other than death but that Simeon realized he could die in peace having seen the Salvation Yahweh had prepared not only for Israel, but for the nations.

It also happens that a few years ago I read an old copy of Helmet Thielecke's The Silence of God, though I don't have much to blog about that book or the topics therein at the moment.

There will always be preachers who transform the life and teaching of Christ into "your best life now" rather than discuss Simeon's song about how one's being a servant of God allows one to die in peace. there are some preachers who transform the good news of Jesus into a legacy to be championed by great and real men who share in that great and real legacy even though Paul wrote that the recipients of the great legacy which is Christ were nobodies of no account whom God providentially used to demonstrate that He was using that which was nothing to show up as nothing the "something" that was.  We know about Simeon because of this song and the evangelist's mention of him, and from this we know that Simeon accepted death. Life in Christ is accepting that we will die, that Christ has shared in death with us, and that sharing in Christ's death we will also share His life. 

It's Advent, so naturally that's all stuff to consider.  Don't go looking for your best life now, remember that you'll die but you can also be thankful within this realization. 

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