Saviour of all

Published February 9, 2015

As Mary and Joseph say, “Yes, his name is Jesus,” Simeon takes the child in his arms and blesses God saying, “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).

That old man’s loving embrace of the Holy Child and his lullaby speaking of glory and light in the midst of despair and darkness marks the age-old passing of day into night, and the anticipation, as contemporary liturgy puts it, of a new day “that lies open before us.”

While I have always appreciated the universal dimension of this sacred moment in the temple, its deep joy was reinforced in last year’s service of lessons, carols and prayers for Advent and Christmas in the Chapel of the Holy Apostles’ in our national office. As that one verse telling the story of the naming of the Child was read (Luke 2:21), it was echoed by a host of staff speaking the language of their birth: English, French, German, Italian, Albanian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog, Hindi, Konkani, Urdu and Pijin. On behalf of Indigenous Ministries and the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, a number of staff were still travelling. Had they been there, we would have heard a host of other languages as well.

Without question, that was the moment that was talked about at the social following the liturgy. It sparked conversations about traditions associated with Christmas and Epiphany in keeping with our countries of origin. I heard a gentle hope that this manner of keeping the sacredness of Our Lord’s naming and his presentation in the temple be kept for years to come-a sign of the “good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

Pray with me, dear friends, that the living of our days reflects the confession of our lips that He is Lord,

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm…
(Hymn 506, Common Praise).

Archbishop Fred Hiltz is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.


  • Fred Hiltz

    Archbishop Fred Hiltz was primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 2007 to 2019.

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