Thursday, December 21
Read: Luke 2:33-35
The coming of Jesus didn’t end at the manger, but that’s where it often stops at Christmas time. Jesus was born to die on the cross, and Simeon finished his words to Mary with words that pointed towards Jesus’ death.
Jesus’ coming brought division as well as joy. Those who were humbled would be raised up, but the proud would fall, opposing Jesus and his teaching. These are the difficult words that were part of his joyful birth. Angels and shepherds rejoiced, while religious leaders and teachers would later plot to have him put to death. Not more than two years after he was born, Herod annihilated all the children two years and younger in the area in order to try to kill the toddler Jesus. Their hearts were revealed – they did not believe in God’s Son.
Simeon also had specific words for Mary. Her son’s death on the cross would be as great a sorrow as his birth in the manger was a joy. Mary pondered these words as well, only later to fully learn their ramifications. But even through the sorrow of his death, joy came in the morning.
Consider: Christmas may be difficult for you, as it was for Mary years later. How is your heart today? Think about the cross, both the sorrow and the victory, as you approach Christmas.