Joseph and Mary continue to be faithful to their traditions and beliefs. They present their son, Jesus at the temple along with their required sacrifice. (Side note: did you notice required sacrifice was two turtledoves, and I’m writing this on the 2nd day of Christmas.)
With the events of the birth night still fresh in their minds, wouldn’t you think this young family was hoping to find some normalcy? I suppose having the son of God in your midst could always be a bit daunting, but the love for your child and the innate need to protect would certainly be strong guiding emotions.
I’m sure the couple didn’t expect one, much less two, people to come forward to make a fuss in such a way. Sure, people will coo and ahh over any newborn, but Simeon and Anna were a little over the top.
I loved Simeon’s words of praise, “I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” How powerful. Simeon had been waiting for this day, and he knew that he had seen God, the Messiah. Jesus was exactly that, a light to reveal God to all. By looking to Jesus and his example, we can know God.
Simeon’s prophecy to the couple was a little more troubling, I’m sure. Imagine how Mary felt when some stranger told her her child would not be popular and because of the hatred and opposition, “a sword will pierce your very soul.” How would you feel?
Then another devout believer, maybe you’d seen her in the temple before, began praising God for your child. Anna could not keep silent the joy that was in her heart, telling everyone this was the child they were waiting for.
This was quite a scene I’m sure. Another example of being on display. I’m sure the couple, although blessed by both encounters, were ready to go home and have a low profile life.
In fact, Luke’s account would do just that, and take us quietly back to Nazareth. We’d have to read the Gospel of Matthew to learn other events of Jesus’ young life.
What is important here is that Jesus’ parents obeyed God’s law. They didn’t question it. They didn’t assume they had a “get out of jail free” card because they were Jesus’ earthly parents. They realized the power they had and wanted to protect Jesus. They would take him home to a small town where he could experience growing up as a human child, a tree climbing, game playing, trade learning boy!
So how are your protecting your faith today? Are you making a plan to spend more time getting to know Jesus? Are you acting out and finding new ways to serve others? Take a moment to be clear on how you are nurturing your faith.
Let’s pray. Lord, I come to you a bit unsure of what you have in store for me. Sometimes I feel clarity but today I’m feeling a little unsure I thank you that you are carrying me today in my time of uncertainty. I know you will reveal your perfect plan for me at the time you deem appropriate. Help me be faithful like Mary and Joseph in following your laws while I wait expectantly for you to move in my heart. Thank you for the boldness you grant me in standing up for you and helping others to see you. May I continue to be your light in this dark world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.