Good morning everyone! I want to start by thanking you all for your prayers for my family. My Grandpa is still in the hospital, but he is doing better. He is with family and he is getting the care he needs right now. He believes in Jesus and the Lord is with him! The Lord showed me a really cool section of Scripture today (I think the whole Bible is really cool)! I was thinking about the birth of Jesus and Christmas, so I opened up the Book of Luke. I started reading in Chapter 2 verse 21 about Jesus being presented in the Temple eight days after He was born. That section of Scripture is right after the historical account of the shepherds and the angels and it talks about two people who were a blessing to Joseph and Mary after Jesus was born. May I introduce you to the servants of the Lord named Simeon and Anna and how they were a blessing.
“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.
When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
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
you now dismiss your
servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen
which you have prepared
in the sight of all
a light for revelation to the
and for glory to your
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Wow! Can you imagine if somebody said that about your child? What a blessing! And the soul piercing sword? Mary had no idea that Jesus would later be crucified for the forgiveness of the whole world’s sins. The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon and the Lord spoke through him in power! I think it is beautiful that the Lord promised that to Simeon and he was blessed to see the baby Jesus with his own eyes and hold Him! He held Jesus when He was just a precious baby at eight days old and he gave glory to God as he preached a powerful message of who Jesus truly was and why He was born! Simeon waited patiently and faithfully, and the Lord blessed him to be a blessing to the Savior of the world! That is just incredible, praise God!
Right after that amazing encounter, Joseph and Mary meet a woman named Anna who had the gift of prophecy. A prophet or prophetess is someone who speaks messages that come directly from God. In the simplest explanation, they speak God’s truth and they are quite literally God’s messengers. Let’s take a look.
“There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
It is so beautiful that the Lord chose Anna to see her Savior with her own eyes and preach about Him right then and there! She had lost her husband only seven years after getting married and she stayed single for the rest of her life. She suffered a terrible loss, but remained faithful to the Lord. As we see, the Lord was so very faithful to her and He blessed her to preach about Jesus and the redemption He would bring! Amen Lord, thank you for using us for your glory! Thank you for the blessings of Simeon and Anna!
After all of the amazing events of the shepherds and angels, the Magi’s visit, and these amazing events at the Temple, Joseph and Mary returned home to raise Jesus.
“When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.”
This Christmas, may we remember the Lord’s faithfulness to Simeon and Anna and may we remember their patient trust in the Lord. God is so very faithful to all of us and I pray we would all be faithful to God, not just during this season of celebration, but every day in all things. I can’t imagine what it must have been like holding Jesus at eight days old, but I am sure anyone who held Him could feel His power flowing through them. Makes me want to take a knee and bow just thinking about it! Jesus is Lord! Glory to God in the highest!
Grace and peace to you all and Merry Christmas!