Time to Rest

Day 8

Luke 2:22-38

And 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 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
    according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
    that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:22-38
In the weeks following Christmas, we spend it recovering from the busy days. All the traveling is done and we can just rest. In this rest we can reflect on the days that have passed and the time that we lost. We say that next year we are not going to do this same routine again but then we fall into the same traditional rush of Christmas and what is it worth? Some good deals on clothes that we will wear once or the tv that in a year will be outdated, and we will want something that is better. When will being satisfied with what God has given us be enough?

In this passage, Mary and Joseph take little baby Jesus to the temple to present him to the Lord; for it was custom that every first born male shall be consecrated as holy to the Lord. Then they would sacrifice an animal a pair of turtledoves (sound familiar?) or two young pigeons for the child.

Then we encounter two people who are set aside as devout and righteous. A man named Simeon and a prophet named Anna. These two people waited for God to speak and act. In a time where no one has heard from God in 400 years, these two new something special was coming. They knew someone special was coming and they did not want to miss it.  So they waited.

Simeon, “looked forward to the consolation of Israel” and the Holy Spirit was with him. Simeon knew that he would not see death until he was able to see the Messiah. I wonder what that day must have been like for him? He probably had this feeling that he needed to go to the temple but for what. Now he is standing in the temple looking for a sign and then in walks in this young couple carrying a baby boy. While everyone else just see another child dedication, Simon sees the Messiah. He sees the face of God and he praised him because he knew that God has come to rescue his people. He knew that he could rest knowing that all would be right.

Then Anna, a woman who worshiped God night and day in the temple, saw the child and knew that the wait was over. Even in her old age, she went all around speaking of redemption of Jerusalem to all.

In these days after the busiest time of the year, sometimes we forget what it was really for. After this long awaited child was born, he was presented in the temple and consecrated to God. 33 years later, He was crucified as a sacrifice for the redemption of our sins. We can rest in that, knowing that all is made right and that we are saved and are made new in Christ.

During this season, my prayer is that we all can find rest in knowing that Christ is enough and we can focus on the blessings that he has given us now and not worry about the future.
Clay Merriman | Meadowview Student Pastor

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