Reader: “He has been sent as a sign from God,”
Response: “but many will oppose him.”
Scripture: Luke 2:33-35
Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on, this disciple took her into his home.
Reader: “The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
We are approaching the end of this years’ Advent & Christmastide devotionals. We’ve talked about the importance of seeing the birth of Christ as part of a much larger picture of God’s plan to bring redemption to the entire created order. As far as people are concerned, the core is recognizing and responding to Jesus Christ, the Son of God come in human flesh. Today we go back to the encounter with Mary, Joseph, six-week old baby Jesus, and the old priest Simeon. Though it doesn’t say Simeon was a priest, a priest would have been the one to conduct the purification rite with the baby. The other option would be Simeon was present as a bystander and recognized baby Jesus as the Messiah and asked Mary to hold him. The former seems far more likely to me. At any rate, his words were prophetically true. Jesus was the cause of many rejecting him as the Son of Man, while others received him as Savior and Lord. At the point of his crucifixion most people had rejected him and those who had hoped he was the Messiah had, indeed, lost all hope. What Jesus did do was expose people’s hearts at their very core enabling them and others to see themselves in true light. Then Simeon concluded his words to Jesus’ parents with a reference to a sword, a strange comment in such a beautiful moment. But the reference to the sword is to Mary’s anguish of seeing her son crucified on the cross and the soldier’s piercing of the side of her Son. Mary’s involvement all through Jesus’ life emphasizes the clear humanity of the Savior. She was a very normal mother, in spite of being the mother of God, known as the theotokos in Orthodox faith. Mary was present when Jesus took his very first breath on this planet earth and present at the cross when he took his very last breath. She was present at the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts and was undoubtedly present when she saw her Son ascend into the heavens at the Ascension. She is undoubtedly the most unique woman who has ever lived on this earth. She is one I’d like to talk with in heaven!
Music: He Is Born USC Chamber Singers
3 Bonuses!: “The Little Drummer Boy” The King’s Singers
“The Little Drummer Boy” BBC Orchestra and Choir Unique with drums!
“The Little Drummer Boy” (African Tribal Version) – Alex Boye’ ft. Genesis Choir
Lord Jeus, there is so much we don’t get, so much we never think about, so much we don’t even wonder about. Our minds are dull, unobservant, self-focused, self-absorbed, self-consumed and self-centered. Lord, Mary was a most remarkable woman and we’ve never thought to reflect on her life and the joys and great sorrows she endured. Lord, give us a better grasp of the relationships you had with people when you lived in Israel. The thought of you loving and hugging Mary and Joseph when you were a little boy and playing with your brothers and sisters doesn’t seem to fit in my mind with you when I think of the Son of God. But you were completely human. Lord Jesus, in this coming year may I better absorb you as I relish time in the Scriptures. Meet me every day as I open your holy Word that with Mary, your earthly mother I can say, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Amen. ―Daniel Sharp