Refresh: Open with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Luke 2:22-38 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Yesterday, we mentioned how Luke understood all too well that Jesus came to reconcile the world. This meant that even his narrative approach to the nativity and birth highlights this thread in the story. Even earlier in the Bible, when God called Abraham, for instance, the purpose was not for him to be a blessing for himself and to build his own tribe, but for him to be a blessing to everyone. It was the call for Abraham’s descendants—Israel and the Jewish people—to share the blessings of God. To be inclusive instead of exclusive. This was counter-cultural back then and it still is today. Fear has captured us and driven us to war and domination, both globally and locally. This is especially true for those who believe in the survival of the fittest or the notion that those with the most toys will win or that those who are the strongest will conquer. A great deal of anger permeates our society today and drives us to be above. Because we are not able to live in Jesus, we cause deep damage to every relationship we have—from the personal to the professional. Too many of us believe that those who crush others will live longer or do better in some way.
Luke saw that this child had arrived. He knew that some would reject him. Others would accept him. His two volume book, (Luke and Acts) demonstrates the journey from rejection to acceptance. From the exclusive to the inclusive. This meant that the anticipation of the Messiah's arrival became appreciation for the hope and inclusive message He brought. The hope of Salvation became reality for everyone. Paul would later teach "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28, ESV).
Recalibrate: This Christmas, who needs to be brought together in your life?
Respond: Pray for the spirit of true community
Research: Why did Jesus have to be taken to the temple?
Live Wonder (ages 0–3)
Simeon was promised that he wouldn’t see death until he saw Jesus. What does it mean for you to see Jesus? Do you see Jesus in the Bible, in community, music, natures? How can you explain how to see Jesus to your child?
Live Adventure (ages 4–11)
Play a game of “I Spy” with your child today. After a few rounds on the drive to school or while running errands, challenge your kids to “spy” Jesus in the everyday aspects of life. Ask them where they see Jesus and why.
Live Purpose (ages 12–16)
Simeon waited and waited until he saw Jesus in the flesh. As we get older, our thoughts about what is most important in life often narrow down. What consumes most of your thoughts throughout the day? What do you think consumed most of Simeon’s thoughts as he waited to see Jesus?