From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:
Thirty-two days after Jesus’ circumcision and seventy weeks after the announcement of John’s birth to Zechariah by the angel Gabriel, the Lord comes to His temple to fulfill the Torah (Luke 2:22-38). The days are indeed fulfilled with the presentation. Jesus’ parents keep the Torah and fulfill it by brining Jesus to His true home. Also, Jesus’ parents offer the alternative sacrifice of two turtledoves or two pigeons. Leviticus 12:8 allows this instead of a lamb (showing the poverty and humility of Joseph and Mary). Yet no lamb was necessary because already here at forty days old, Jesus is the Lamb brought to His temple for sacrifice. Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis is a beautiful example of the immediate response to this inauguration of God’s consolation and redemption in the Christ Child. Speaking to Mary, Simeon also prophesies about the destiny of the child.
Today was the final reading for our Jesse Tree–I can’t believe how quickly the season of Advent has gone by!
We turned to Luke 2 for the third day in a row, and read the whole story, verses 1-20, of Jesus’s birth. He fulfilled all the prophecies and was born in that lowly stable in Bethlehem, where the first people to greet Him, (other than His parents), were a bunch of common shepherds. His birth was heralded by angels and a new star in the sky. He is why we celebrate Christmas. He is the reason for our rejoicing.
Let us never lose sight of Whose birthday we are celebrating, or why He came!
Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear, for sinner here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The babe, the son of Mary!
“What Child is This?” verse 2–Lutheran Service Book #370
This thought struck me last night–I have no idea why.
Can you imagine what it was like for Mary, the Mother of Jesus, when she died, and saw her son again? After seeing Him die on the cross, and then all the excitement over His resurrection (do we even know if she saw Him after He was raised?), and His leaving again on Ascension Day–to see her Son again, face to face in all His glory…
I can’t even imagine. As Christians, we of course look forward to the day we will see Jesus face to face. And I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve all thought of loved ones we look forward to seeing again someday. But for Mary, those two events were one in the same, and there just must have been so much rejoicing in heaven that day when Son and mother, Savior and saint, were reunited. It gives me chills!