Held in Christmas Rest, 28DEC – #1018

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These few days after Christmas are a gift especially to a working mom/Mrs Santa/Julia Child Chef/pleaser to the workplace and world, just trying to get everything done by Christmas and now Christmas joy can now be enjoyed by me because the pressure is off. I’m blessed to be at work to reset my brain but hold onto my Christmas heart. 

I appreciate that the word the Lord has given me all throughout this covid season has been “REST” – both rest physically for health and rest assuredly in His love. Rest has allowed me to process in my sleep, and all of us to reduce stress resting assured that we are doing our best each day. At least we are trying.

I appreciated hearing in a sermon video today the great story of Simeon at the temple when Jesus was brought as a baby for dedication.   I can see/hear a song from Michael Card in my head and I can see the image of Simeon holding the baby, so touched that he was allowed to see his and the world’s Savior come to fruition. Anna was also gifted seeing our Gift. They KNEW.  And the sermon pastor spoke of how they were allowed rest, no not slack-off in faith or life, but to simply rest assured of a promise fulfilled. 

It brings me to tears to know that Jesus not only entered my own temple to teach me about His love for me, but He created it to house His Word and in doing so, gave me an empty slate wiped clean on which to write on my heart… if you have accepted Jesus rest in His arms, rest your future in His love. If you have not fully accepted Jesus – this is a good time to – at Christmas when He is a gentle as a baby to behold and then hold you. He really is the only comfort that satisfies what we need. We accept Him because He chose us first.

And Simeon did not sugarcoat the hardships that Jesus would endure, that Mary had in store. But Simeon saw and praised the glory first. We also will not rest in or on easy street, but we CAN see the glory of the Lord. We can feel Christmas rest, Easter best and our temple blessed. 

We have God with us. Let that sink in.

Be blessed. Merry Christmas rest.

Amen 

—-

Luke 2:22-40 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord  (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”),  and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,  so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

——-

Michael Card’s song:

Now that I’ve held him in my arms

That old man in the temple

Waiting in the court

Waiting for the answer to a promise

And all at once he sees them

In the morning sunshine

A couple come and carry in a baby

Now that I’ve held Him in my arms

My life can now come to an end

Let Your servant now depart in peace

Cause I’ve seen Your salvation

He’s the Light of the Gentiles

And the glory of His people Israel

Marry and the baby come

And in her hand five shekels

The price to redeem her baby boy

The baby softly cooing

Nestled in her arms

Simeon takes the boy and starts to sing

Now’s the time to take Him in your arms

Your life will never come to an end

He’s the only way that you’ll find peace

He’ll give you salvation cause

He’s the Light of the Gentiles

And the glory of His people Israel

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