The Ministry of Christ is for Life

Luke 2:25-40 records the story of a man and woman late in their years, who waited their whole lives (as many generations before them had done, it should be noted) for the arrival of God's Messiah.  

Even non-religious people or nominal Christians are familiar with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph at Christmas.  Maybe also shepherds, angels, and magi.  But -- Simeon and Anna?  Would your next door neighbor know they are part of the Christmas story?

To fully appreciate the power of the moment when Simeon and Anna see the baby Messiah, we might need to imagine people in our own communities whom might be described as "geriatric."  Elderly, perhaps in questionable or failing help, struggling to cope with daily tasks as they once did in their younger and more capable years.  Can you picture someone in your community or family like that?

Simeon and Anna were like that.  They were long in years but had remained faithful Jews, honoring their covenant with God as God's people, including maintaining faith in a promise that none of their known ancestors had been blessed to see in this earthly life.  As you imagine the elderly people in your community, do you know any who have maintained faith in God like that?

Simeon and Anna were like that.  They knew that God is for life; God's love is for life; God's promises are for life; God's mission for the salvation of the world is for life.  

As we begin 2022, think about the kind of person you would like to be in your elderly years, God willing you live that long.  Do you want to be active participants in God's work in the world, putting your intellectual belief into action, as an example of faithfulness to your peers and the younger generations?  If you do, then look to Anna and Simeon as your examples.

- If you are over 65 years old, what challenges do you face in life that you didn't face 20 years ago?
- If you are over 65 years old, what ministry opportunities do you have that you couldn't have participated in 20 years ago?
- If you believe that Jesus is the savior of the world, are you actively sharing that good news in some way in your daily, weekly, or monthly routine?  Have life's challenges overwhelmed you, so that actively embodying God's love in your life just seems like too much to handle?

Living God, in Christ you save the world every day, including me.  In Christ, I live.  In Christ, I am called to live and share your love as long as you sustain my earthly life.  Will you show me, by the power of your Holy Spirit, how I should be your minister today, this week, and in this new year?  
In the holy and powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

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