25 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said, 29 Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation. 31 You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples— 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel. 33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Another Christmas morning is in the books. For several weeks now, most of us have been caught up in a whirlwind of parties and preparation, baking and shopping, wrapping and decorating.
Today we stand in the aftermath. The seasonal crescendo has come and gone, leaving behind memories, decorations, and perhaps a few stray shreds of wrapping paper beneath the sofa. The excitement wanes as we once again submit to the tyranny of the mundane.
I wonder…in the days after the first Christmas, did Mary and Joseph experience a similar sense of encroaching ordinariness? Their lives had been turned on end by angelic announcements followed by a singular pregnancy and the anticipation of Messiah.
I imagine the high emotions of those days—awe at the coming task of parenting the Son of God; sorrow over rejection from friends and family who see only evidence of promiscuity in the swelling of Mary’s belly.
But now it was all past. The daily drudgery of caring for the Infant, providing food and shelter, and waiting out the time of purification had settled in.
Do you sometimes wonder, “Is this it?”
Do you think our Lord’s human parents did also?
This is the point when Simeon entered—a full forty days after the drama had faded into routine. But Simeon did not see merely another couple with a child performing the necessary rites of a Torah-observant Jewish family. Simeon saw the glory of the King through the ordinariness of daily Jewish life and new parent fatigue. And he embraced the Babe, proclaiming the good news and praising God as he did.
Perhaps we can learn from Simeon. Perhaps we, too, can diligently seek our Savior in the midst of familiar workaday routine. What if we embraced every tiny glimpse of Him, proclaiming the mercy and praise of God to our families each day as we’re going about the necessary duties of life?
Perhaps we can use this time to teach our kids that Christmas isn’t Christmas because of the gifts and twinkling lights, but because of Christ. Maybe together, we can start identifying Christ in our everyday lives and praising His goodness to all who stand near.
Maybe for us, every day can be Christmas.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are some practical steps you can take to discover Jesus in the middle of your day-to-day life?
- How can you celebrate the birth of our Savior long after the seasonal festivities have ceased?
- Try instituting a new habit: With your family, spouse, small group, or a couple of friends, start a daily conversation about where each person saw Jesus in their day. This can be done verbally in conversation or via text, email, or whatever. Just learning to recognize and acknowledge Him in our lives can be tremendous!
Display a magnifying glass or binoculars. Ask what the use is for the(se) object(s). Explain that these objects help people see things that might otherwise go unseen. In today’s passage, other people may have seen just a normal looking baby when they saw baby Jesus, but Simeon knew this baby was much more. Point out verse 30 from today’s passage. Simeon got to see Jesus with his own eyes and he knew that Jesus would be used for great things. While we don’t physically get to see Jesus, we can actually see glimpses of Him and His Father, God, each and every day. Using the magnifying glass and/or binoculars, let children find things inside and/or outside that can be reminders of Jesus and God and discuss responses.
Pray for churches in the East Asia today. Pray for steadfastness, courage, dependence on God, and a burden for lost friends and neighbors for all believers in East Asia. The church in East Asia has been greatly affected in recent years by political and Pray the church will be strong and effective.