Do you know about
the purification offering?
It totally passed by me.
eight days after
the first male child is born,
the Law of Moses requires
that he be dedicated to the Lord.
In the temple,
the parents would sacrifice two young pigeons,
or a pair of turtle doves.
Mary and Joseph
did as they should,
and took baby Jesus
There was a man named Simeon
who was eagerly awaiting
for the Messiah to come.
The Holy Spirit was upon him,
and lead him
to the temple of the Lord.
This is where he held
baby Jesus in his arms,
while offering his praises up to God.
He referred to baby Jesus
as the light of the world,
and said he would bring salvation
to all who heard.
He also told Mary,
“This child is destined
to cause many to fall,
but many will rise in Israel as well."
He also said that many would oppose him,
even though he was sent by almighty God,
“and as a result,
the deepest thoughts
of many hearts
will be exposed,
and a sword would come to pierce her soul.”
I can’t imagine
these words brought comfort to Joseph and Mary,
it would seem the people
would want to shout "Hallelujah!"
Instead they had just been told
that some would oppose Jesus as Lord.
Anyway, after Simeon saw the baby,
He told the Lord he was ready to die,
now that he had seen the Messiah
with his own eyes.
Simeon was not the only one ready to receive the Son.
There was an old woman name Anna nearby,
and she also began to prophesy.
She had spent most her life in fasting in prayer,
lingering in the temple waiting for the Lord.
When we saw Simeon holding baby Jesus,
she came beside him and offered her praises up.
She talked about the child to everyone,
who had been waiting expectantly
for God to rescue Jerusalem,
Can you imagine being Jesus's parents?
I mean they knew Jesus
was conceived by the Spirit of God
because this is what the angel Gabriel
revealed to them,
but here, now, in Jerusalem
Simeon and Anna prophesied
even more to them.
And all of this,
on the heels of what happened
when the shepherds came to honor him.
They had shared with them
the story of the vast host of heaven -
immeasurable angels were witnessed
singing glory to God!
This had to be so overwhelming!
That’s probably why scripture says
“Mary kept this in her heart
and thought about it often.”
In thinking about Anna and Simeon,
it shines a light on how unprepared
the religious leaders were.
The first spent their lives
in prayer and devotion,
while the second spent their time
the Law of Moses.
Instead of pursing
a relationship with God,
the Pharisees focused
on a "Brotherhood of Shoulds.”
With a wrong heart
they slowly drifted away,
to the point of not being able
to recognize the Messiah when he came.
But Anna and Simeon
known as prophets,
spent their whole lives
pursing a relationship with him,
and because they attuned to their ears to hear,
they knew in their spirit when the Lord was near.
When the first coming of the Lord came,
they knew right away how to recognize him.
And their first response
was to offer worship and praise,
while prophesying the coming of days.
The lesson I learned in all of this
is to focus my attention on fellowship with God.
I would never want to be so religious
that I miss the ability to recognize
the second coming of Jesus.