Thank You, Lord, for the love that You have lavished on us and at such cost to Yourself.
Read LUKE 2:21-35
 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.  When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord  (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”),  and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”  Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,  Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:  “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation,  which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:  a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”  The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.  Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,  so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAre you looking and longing for God to be revealed?
The events around the birth of Jesus are remarkably private and intimate. There are no crowds–they would come later. His circumcision and naming were routine (21). The sacrifice which Mary and Joseph offered (22-24) was that of poor people (Lev. 12:8). The Son of God was born into the most humble of families. Can you identify with that (1 Cor. 1:26)?Meanwhile an old man in Jerusalem, Simeon, had been waiting patiently for God to fulfill his promises (25). Long before, God had shown him that he would see the Messiah (26). Then at just the right time, when Mary and Joseph were about to arrive, Simeon followed the Spirit’s prompting and went to the Temple. Out of all the people there he recognized this special child (28). Now he could die in peace (29). He had seen God’s salvation. Timing is everything with God. What are you waiting for? You could forgive Simeon for seeing Jesus’ birth as being just for his own people, the Jews. But God showed him a vastly bigger picture. This birth was significant for the whole world (30-32). Yet sadly, there would be great pain before the final peace (34,35).
Many of God’s people around the world are suffering for their faith despite the joy of today. Pray for them.
Lord, You are the greatest treasure, the one thing I desire. You are worth waiting for.
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