Luke 2:21-40

SCRIPTURE

Luke 2:21-40 (NIV) 21  On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. 22  When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23  (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24  and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” 25  Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28  Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29  “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30  For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31  which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32  a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” 33  The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34  Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35  so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36  There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37  and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. 39  When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40  And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.  
 
OBSERVATION
After Jesus’ birth, His parents followed Jewish customs. These included circumcision on the eighth day, the dedication to the Lord of a firstborn child, and Mary’s purification.   While performing these common customs, Joseph and Mary are surprised at church. God loves taking the ordinary and seemingly mundane moments of obedience and turning them into extraordinary moments.  
 
UNDERSTANDING
Joseph and Mary show up at the Temple to do what is required—the customs of the day—and they are met by two very excited old timers! First Simeon, then Anna prophesy over Joseph and Mary and their baby, and start declaring the news to anyone who will listen that this baby is God’s salvation. This is the ONE.  In the midst of something ordinary, the extraordinary happens.   This would be like you showing up at church today, and suddenly, God speaks to you or heals you or changes you!
 
Or this would be like you doing your daily time with God— PB&J (prayer, Bible reading and journaling) and God shows up in an extraordinary way.  
 
LIFE APPLICATION
The same is to be expected of us today.  On any given Sunday when you do what you are supposed to do – show up to worship and connect with God’s people – God invades and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.  I wonder how many times we may have missed out because we didn’t want to do the necessary requirements?
Or how about PB&J?  Those moments of obedience and commitment to relationship that become extraordinary because God invades our ordinary activities.
 
Be ready for God to surprise you…He loves doing it!