Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Shortly after the birth of Jesus, the Scriptures remind us that Joseph and Mary were committed to their faith. As observant Jews they brought him to the temple on the eighth day to bring the prescribed sacrifices. This was no random action. They didn’t go whenever they felt like it. They didn’t bring some sort of gift which occurred to them. It was not a time to show individuality or to celebrate their child’s personality.
Jesus was presented in the temple according to the Law of Moses, with the sacrifices prescribed. What would set him apart? The Holy Spirit moved two people at the temple to recognize him as the one who would redeem Israel. And this was no passing comment by a senile crackpot. We normally assume both Simeon and Anna are old. The Bible says Anna is old. As to Simeon, we know tht he is in the habit of spending a lot of time in the temple and is waiting for God’s redemption. He suggests age by saying that he can die in peace now. But that is no certain indicator of his age. Rather, these two people are presented as being entirely in their right minds and certainly energetic enough to engage the family, stop them, take the baby from his mother, and make a prophecy.
What kind of child is this? He is the one who is to redeem Israel. He doesn’t appear any different from any of the other babies presented in the temple. To all appearances, he is the child of a working class family. Yet the Holy Spirit makes it clear to some who meet him that he is in fact the savior.
May the Holy Spirit speak to many hearts as they are confronted with this Jesus, brought up according to God’s Law, but who shows himself to be the consolation of all who trust in him.
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