It was Jesus’ first trip to Jerusalem, but it would not be his last. His parents were very careful to observe the law of Moses to present their newborn to God in the Temple. It was such a busy place, and the couple with their infant son could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle, but for the sharp eye of the ancient prophet Simeon who had been keeping watch over Temple visitors for decades searching the crowds for the “Chosen One” – The Messiah! This was the day he had been waiting for, and he rejoiced over the revelation! “ . . . My eyes have seen your salvation . . .” Also, a nearby prophetess Anna witnessed the arrival and began praising God as well. Their long wait had been rewarded.
Do you find waiting difficult? I do! It makes me frustrated until I consider that these “time-outs” are really opportunities to slow down, calm down, and pray.The last verse of our passage says, “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” Isn’t this exactly what happens in our lives when we come to believe in Jesus? We experience new life! Then his presence begins to grow strong in us, and we are filled with wisdom and grace because his life becomes ours. We are no longer held captive by our own self- focus and desires. Jesus is born in us and makes us new people. Our love for him extends to others, and as we help each other with the struggles of life, we not only celebrate Christmas, we live it.