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.
I read here in this passage that as Jesus grows up, God by His Holy Spirit is at work. We are told that He was filled with wisdom and that the grace of God was on Him. Both Simeon and Anna, who are in tune with the Holy Spirit, see God at work and recognise the baby Jesus for who He is. There are no angels or shinning star to show them the way. They just know because they are open to God. And what of Mary and Joseph? I notice that they simply did what was right. Luke tells us that when they did everything required by the Law, these things happened.
There are several lessons here for us this morning on Boxing Day. Firstly, we need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and aware of what He is doing in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. Secondly, if we don’t know what to do, then the best thing is to do what is right like Mary and Joseph. If we walk with integrity and walk humbly before our God, he will lead us in the paths we should tread.
Take courage this morning and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and do what you know is right.