Christmas is an amazing time of year! We just finished one of our best, celebrating the birth of Jesus with our family, church, and friends. Yesterday we read about Mary and Joseph, the manager, the angels and some shepherds. Today we fast forward 8 days after the birth of Jesus. This was the designated time of the circumcision (in keeping with the Law of God) and the time He would be given a name. His name of course was Jesus. He was not named by his father or mother but by God Himself through the words of an angel.
The dedication ceremony was a special time in the lives of these young parents. They took baby Jesus and presented Him to the Lord along with the appointed offering of two small birds. Everything seemed normal, then they met Simeon.
Simeon was a righteous man who had been eagerly praying and waiting for the prophesied Messiah to come and rescue Israel. God the Holy Spirit, had told him that even though he was old, he would not die until he saw the Messiah. The Holy Spirit led him to the Temple that day at that time. When he saw Jesus, he took him in his arms and praised God – the Messiah has come!
This of course amazed Mary and Joseph. Remember, she had been thinking through these things, like an angel appearing to her, a virgin birth, what the shepherds said, now this – and pondering them in her heart (2:19). Then there was Anna, an 84-year-old prophetess widow – she confirmed Jesus as the Messiah too.
I’m sure all of this was extremely helpful and affirming to Mary and Joseph. God doesn’t owe us this, we are to obey regardless – but God often in His kindness to us affirms what He’s told us. He will do this through a song, a word from others, a message we hear, peace, or sometimes through His sweet small voice. The number one way God affirms His will and direction is through His Word which is always the final word.
When’s the last time you heard the voice of the Lord in your life? It brings us so much comfort. The Psalmist admits:
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
- When’s the last time you saw the hand of the Lord in your life or heard His voice?
- Maybe you’ve been too noisy and busy to listen – why not make some time today to get quiet and wait for Him to speak.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor