BIBLE STORY OF THE WEEK: Luke 2:21-38 NRSV
After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
PRAYERS & QUESTIONS:
Sunday: Luke 2:21
Dear Jesus, I thank you for placing me into a family. Help me to learn and to grow, both as a child of my family and as a child of God. Amen.
One of the important parts of circumcision is that it places a child on the family tree. Who are some important branches of your family tree for you? Where would Jesus fit on your family tree?
Monday: Luke 2:22-24
Dear God, I know that I was born at just the right time. Help me to see the advantages of my place in my family, and to live according to your Word. Amen. In the Bible, birth order is often very important. In what order were you and your siblings (if any) born? What makes your place in your family special? Annoying?
Tuesday: Luke 2:25-27
Dear God, send your Holy Spirit upon me. Reveal your will to me, and guide my life. Amen.
This reading mentions that the Holy Spirit rested on Simeon, and that Jesus’ arrival was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. Have you ever experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit? In what ways do you see God’s guidance in your life?
Wednesday: Luke 2:28-32
Dear Jesus, you came to be a light to the whole world. Help me to see your light in dark times. Empower me to reflect your light in those places that need it most. Amen.
What difference does light make to a dark room? What kind of a difference do you suppose the light of Christ is making in our dark world? How are you being called to let your “little light” shine?
Thursday: Luke 2:33-35
(Offer a prayer in your own words for your children, future children, or children who are dear to you)
What do you think it was like for Mary and Joseph to meet Simeon? What would it be like to know that, because of your son, your future will sometimes be difficult? What prayers would you have for your child?
Friday: Luke 2:36-37
Dear God, I thank you for the wise saints in my life. Open my ears, that I might absorb their wisdom. Open my heart, that I might offer what I can to those of older years. Amen.
What do you think it would have been like to meet Anna? How do you think she might be different from other older women that you know? How would she be the same?
Saturday: Luke 2:38
Dear Jesus, make me patient when I have to wait for something that is dear to my heart. Help me to wait with hope. Cast out my impatience and despair. Amen.
Anna had been waiting for many years for Jesus to arrive on the scene. What are you waiting for? When you wait, is it with patience or impatience, despair or hope? What does God have to do with us while we wait?