Sunday 31 January 2010

Bible Book:

"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." (v.22)

Luke 2:22-40 Sunday 31 January 2010


This passage immediately follows the story of Jesus' birth, withits visits by shepherds and angels. It allows the reader to seeJesus' family acknowledging Jewish tradition, both in his mother'spurification and in the thanksgiving for his birth and dedicationto God in the Temple. After this passage and one more story aboutJesus as a young adult in the Temple, the Gospel will jump to theministry of John the Baptist and the beginning of Jesus' ownministry.

Two people in the Temple recognised Jesus when his parents broughtthe baby for presentation. The first was Simeon, an older respectedman, "righteous and devout". It was Simeon who saw the baby anddeclared that he was the source of salvation for "all peoples", a"light" for Jews and non-Jews alike. But there was more: heprophesied that tumult would also come through this baby and thathis mother's heart would be broken.

The Gospel writer Luke wanted the reader to be clear that Jesus wasimportant from before his birth, andthat this was not just for the Jews but for the whole world. Alsohis life and work would not be easy and would cost much. This isSimeon's message for the reader today, in and out of Church: hope,and the promise of trouble along the way.

The second person to recognise Jesus at the Temple was Anna, anelderly widow who lived there, praying continually. Just as the newparents were reeling from Simeon's declarations, Anna reassuredthem that God's last word would overcome any difficulty they wouldface. "The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; andthe favour of God was upon him."

To Ponder

Do you think our lives are mapped out, frombabies, according to God's plan? Why?

Many people, whether church goers or not, bringbabies to church for baptism and they are always welcome. What doesthis instinct to bring the baby to church say?

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