And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . John 1:14
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
This painting was found unfinished on Rembrandt’s easel at the time of his death. It was different that the seven other works he had created depicting Simeon and the Christ child.
“The heavenly light appears . . to emanate not at all from the baby, but wholly from the face of Simeon, whose eyes are nearly shut and whose lips are parted in his prayer of praise. . .The vision Rembrandt was attempting to portray is visible in the luminous glow of Simeon’s face. Here is the last days of his life, Simeon has seen the Deliverer, the Messiah, often promised and long awaited. His face shines with the knowledge of the sight, and in a remarkably bold insight, Rembrandt has given the face of the Christ child a reflected glow. . . Rembrandt has dispensed with any hint of the glow he has so often given Christ, in drawings , in etchings, and in paintings, and has given that glow instead to Simeon, as a glow from the inside.” The Biblical Rembrandt, John I. Durham
When Rembrandt was younger, he painted Christ shining with a holy glow. In this final painting, as Rembrandt reaches the end of life, we see the old man, Simeon, is the one who is glowing – the light coming from the inside out reflecting out onto the baby in his arms.
He came as the Light of the World to make us the light of the world. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. May it be so this year for you.
You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14
Betsy and Laurie
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.
Luke 2: 25 – 32