A reason to get out of bed every day of your life!

On the eighth day of Christmas, Jospeh and Mary went into Jerusalem, a mere two miles away.  Yet, in her condition, healing, the crowds being present, it probably took a good while to make it up to the courts of the Temple.  When they entered, they made sacrifices, as required by the Law of Moses.  He would have been circumcised then as well.

Unexpected was the prophetic encounter with two people – one man, one woman – separately.  Their words were profound.
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22 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 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”

25 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. 26 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. 27 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, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
   according to Your word;
30 for my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 that 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 his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 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 35 and a sword will pierce through your own soul also, so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36 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, 37 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. 38 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.

39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

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Re-read Simeon’s actualy prophesy.  In the midst of shepherds being comforted by the scary sight of myriads of angels in the sky, and the quiet manger scene, note the frightening message from Simeon…  “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 and a sword will pierce through your own soul also, so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

What is such a comment saying?  What a sobering prophesy at the birth of the Christ.  May we not be found wanting.

 

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