TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 2: 21-38
TO CHEW ON: "It had been revealed to him (Simeon) by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah ....She (Anna) never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying." Luke 2: 26 & 37
When Jesus was still a tiny baby (40 days, about six weeks old) Joseph and Mary brought him to the temple in Jerusalem and gave him to the Lord. They also had to bring a sacrifice - doves or pigeons. They were obeying a command God gave Moses hundreds of years earlier.
There were probably many people in the temple the day Joseph and Mary took Jesus there. Perhaps some stopped Mary to take a look at her new baby and say how cute He was. The temple workers (Levites) probably saw Jesus when they helped Joseph and Mary with their sacrifice. But only two people recognized that Jesus was not just an ordinary baby.
Elderly Simeon and Anna (who weren’t together) both came to Mary and Joseph, one after the other. They wanted to see this baby. They wanted to tell Jesus’ parents and everyone around that Jesus was special. How did they know?
It seems both Simeon and Anna had a special friendship with God. Simeon was waiting for Messiah, and the Holy Spirit had given him a promise: He would not 1)________ before he saw the 2)________ 3)_________ . When God told him to go to the temple that morning, he obeyed. (Luke 2:26)
Anna never left the temple. In fact, she 4) __________ 5) ___________ and 6)_________ ,7) ________ and 8) ___________ . (Luke 2:37)
Because they loved God so much and spent so much time with Him, God told them things He didn't tell anyone else.
What do you think - do you have to be old or live in church to have a special friendship with God?
PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be a close friend of Yours, like Simeon and Anna were. Amen
SUPERSIZE IT: Given to God
Though we no longer make sacrifices of birds or animals, many churches still have special services where parents can present their children to God.
In some churches a minister prays for and dedicates the baby to God. In others a minister or priest sprinkles the baby with water to christen or baptize it. If you had such a time when you were a baby, ask your parents to tell you about it.
Do you think dedicating a child to God when it is a baby makes a difference in its life? Why or why not.