Christmas is filled with so many traditions – traditions that involve sights and smells and tastes – that there are many things that can trigger a memory. Looking out the window on a cloudy, winter day can conjure up memories of years past sitting in the warmth and comfort of home with family. Or the strong smell of cinnamon can bring back images of holidays past, times of laughter and joy. Getting out the decorations can summon recollections of all the years of celebration.
It is delightful when the joy of Christmas breaks into the humdrum of everyday life. In Luke we have a story of a man named Simeon, a devout and religious man whose encounter with Jesus is often overlooked. Why did Simeon go into the courts? What did Simeon do and say?
We can imagine that Simeon was an older man who has spent many days and months and years attending to the rituals of the temple in the hope that some day God would reveal to him the Messiah who was promised. On this day Simeon was going about his business when the Holy Spirit nudged him to enter into the temple courts. There, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, was a young couple with a baby.
And that was when the joy and holiness of this child broke into Simeon’s life. And what did Simeon do? He gathered the baby in his arms and offered praise to God. He stopped what he had been doing and spent a moment giving glory to the Lord for the gift of Christ. The blessings of the birth had broken into his life and this man took some time to worship.
We might look forward to Christmas every year. We might get as excited as a child as the big day nears, but so often we can feel empty when it passes. We can sometimes feel that we missed Christmas because we just didn’t get enough joy.
We need to be like Simeon and stop what we are doing so we can take the time to worship God. We need to make the room in our hearts and in our arms for the baby born in Bethlehem. Make room to worship Jesus this holiday.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you make the time to worship Jesus this Christmas?