What emotional response does Christmas foster in you? Joy? Peace? Love? Hope? The birth of Christ should produce these feelings in us. But what about worship? When you contemplate the arrival of the long-awaited Savior do you ever fall on your knees in worship?
The shepherds worshipped. They glorified and praised God for “all the things they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20). The Magi worshipped. In fact, they spent several months traveling close to a thousand miles just to worship the baby King (Matt 2:2).
Today, let’s focus on two Jesus worshippers we often forget about – Simeon and Anna. Their story is told in Luke 2:21-40. (If you have time, read it now.) About forty days after Jesus’ birth, Mary and Joseph went to the temple in Jerusalem for Mary’s purification rite and to dedicate and redeem their first-born son.
At the temple, probably in the court of the women, the little family encountered these two faithful servants of God. The Gospel writer, Luke, describes Simeon as righteous and devout; filled with the Holy Spirit; and eagerly expecting the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. Luke also informs us that Anna, who had been a widow for 84 years, constantly worshipped in the temple through fasting and prayer.
As soon as they saw Jesus in the temple, Simeon and Anna realized that they had just laid eyes on the “redemption of Israel,” the promised One of God, the Messiah. They responded with worship – praise and thanksgiving to God for the fulfillment of His promise. (Here’s one of my blogs that lists OT prophecies fulfilled in Jesus.)
Simeon and Anna quickly responded with worship to God’s activity because their hearts were prepared and their eyes were open. Here are a few things I noticed about these two godly worshippers.
- They trusted in God’s faithfulness to keep His promises.
- They watched and waited for God’s activity with eager anticipation.
- They were sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
How often do we respond to God’s activity with worship? Are our hearts and minds prepared to look for and recognize His work around us?
God’s plan of salvation for all mankind was set in motion on that first Christmas. Jesus Christ, chosen to be our Savior before the creation of the world, stepped into time to carry out that plan. At just the right time and place in history he came. Without Christmas there would be no Easter. Without Jesus’ birth there would be no sacrifice for our sins. We would still be lost, separated from God for eternity. That should move us to fall on our faces in worship of the One who always keeps His promises.
Does Christmas move you to worship? How should we respond to God’s plan of redemption? Would you share your thoughts and hearts with us today?