Windows of St. John’s – The Presentation in the Temple – HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Forty days after Jesus’ birth, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple where he met two of my favorite people from Scripture: Simeon and Anna. In this church window, we see Mary and Joseph in the Temple with Simeon holding the baby Jesus. Over Simeon’s shoulder we see Anna, the prophetess, looking on.
Simeon was a devout and righteous man. “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:26) At the urgings of the Holy Spirit, he went to the Temple and met Mary, Joseph and the baby. He took Jesus into his arms and praised God with the words of a prayer now known as the Nunc Dimitis, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
The elderly Simeon had spent his whole life, like many other Jews, awaiting the coming of the Messiah. However with Simeon, it was different for he had been assured by the Spirit that the Messiah would come in his lifetime. His reward for a lifetime of service and faithfulness was to see the baby Jesus. Now he could die in peace.
After Simeon comes the prophet Anna, an 84 year old widow. She had lived with her husband for seven years then spent the rest of her life in the Temple, praying and fasting. She was in the Temple as was her custom when Mary and Joseph arrived with their baby. She recognized Jesus as the Messiah. She, too, was rewarded for her devotion by seeing Jesus.
Both are examples of lives well-lived, lives of faith. God rewards them for their faith. As I age, I appreciate Simeon and Anna even more. They are role models for those of us in our “later” years of life of how to continue to remain faithful to our God and continue to live good lives. They are role models for all of us as we age. Simeon’s life reminds us that God keeps his promises to us, though we may have to wait a lifetime.
As we begin 2018, may we believe in God’s promise to God’s people. May we, like Simeon and Anna, be faithful throughout the length of our life even unto old age.
Happy New Year!
Is there anything you are waiting and praying for? I would love to hear from you.
This post is part of a series of reflections on St. John’s church windows. click here to follow blog