Jesus Is Presented in the Temple
22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’
33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
Reflection by Lynne Buell
We don’t know too much about Simeon other than he was a righteous, older man, who was looking forward to a new era and was led to the Temple by the Holy Spirit. As a parent, from the moment of her birth, I wondered what my daughter would be when she grew up. I was with her through her joys and tears and her failures and accomplishments. Today, I am exceptionally proud of the woman she has turn out to be.
But what makes this scripture so amazing is that Jesus’ purpose was revealed just days after He was born. It is difficult for us to know how Joseph and Mary felt because the paths of our lives are so mysterious—like the words of Forrest Gump’s momma—"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
During this time of darkness and uncertainty, this scripture conveys true light and hope for better days ahead. Yesterday, for many of us, we celebrated Christmas vastly different from previous years. For me I think it was probably the best Christmas I’ve ever had.
O God, you give us hope and we thank you for giving Jesus as our role model. Amen.