This morning I would like us to reflect on two things: 1) how God has guided, strengthened and sustained us on our journeys of faith through truthful words of blessing and through truthful words of challenge, especially from people older than ourselves; and 2) secondly, how we might be used by God to strengthen and sustain others in their journeys, both with truthful words of blessing and with the occasionally necessary truthful challenge. Who has been Simeon or Anna for us, and to whom might we be Simeon or Anna? Every disciple of Jesus here today is here because of the embrace, the blessing, and the challenge given by God, most often through other people.
For Mary and Joseph, Simeon's word of blessing was to confirm that, yes, this child is God's promised Son, the heir of David, the Prince of Peace long promised by the prophets, the answer to their prayers from the Psalms. As it says in the Law of Moses, everything must be confirmed by two witnesses. So Anna confirms Simeon's testimony that, in the Christ Child, the glory of God has finally returned, as promised, to the temple after nearly 600 years of exile and absence. By taking the child into his arms, and praying, Simeon was also modeling and confirming for Joseph what he was called to do with this son of his who was not technically his son: likewise, to embrace him, bless him, and keep praying.
For more thoughts on Simeon and Anna and on what they reveal of God, and model for us, check out the message of Sunday, December 28, 2008 at Download Simeon and Anna 08