A Christmas Scripture...

::illustration from the Bowyer Bible circa 1785::

I was reading in the second chapter of Luke about Simeon this morning... Simeon was in the temple when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to be circumcised. 

Luke writes that he was a man "who was righteous and devout"..."waiting for the consolation of Israel" and that "the Holy Spirit was upon him." The Holy Spirit had told him he would not die before he saw Israel's deliverer.  As he sees the child, he says something very beautiful:

"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."

Simeon says that loud for all to hear. Then says to Mary...

"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."

That phrase...and a sword will pierce your own soul, too.

It hit me that the inclusion of that phrase meant Mary saw the sword put through Jesus at the cross. That God made sure that when she saw that terrible act that something in her would remember that it was part of a prophecy. So she wouldn't be left confused and disparing during the gap between death and resurrection.

I love what that reveals about God's heart.  Both that He cared for Simeon who had been waiting and for Mary who would suffer the helplessness of grief.  But maybe most of all that God's idea of a King was someone who would embrace people without position (either social or religious), heal diseases, and ultimately suffer greatly to save us all.  That's a God worth serving.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall