Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: JOIE DE VIVRE (delight in being alive) (08/18/16)
TITLE: For My Eyes Have Seen
By Elaine Hemingway
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For forty days the young mother and father tended their baby boy with joy and gratitude.
It had been a little traumatic having been caught by the impending birth whilst on their three days travel between Nazareth and Bethlehem. The birth in an outbuilding had been a little taxing to say the least, but how enlightening it had been when greeted and blessed by shepherds who had come in from the fields. Joseph and Mary had not needed such corroboration but to know that Yahweh, G-d Almighty, had shown His awareness of their presence and plight had been so encouraging.
After the angelic promises that had been made it had been a wonderful experience for Mary to know the thrill of motherhood and the affirmation that her child was special. For Joseph came the added relief that his protection and understanding had been vilified and now he could enjoy his life as husband and surrogate father of his baby son.
They had been back in Nazareth before the eighth day, the day of circumcision and the giving of the name the angel had foretold before His conception: Jesus, Emmanuel.
The month that followed had been a wonderful time of learning for the young mother, and she was filled with awe as she enjoyed the pleasures of feeding, bathing and dressing her beautiful baby. Joseph was gentle and supportive, and it was with joyful anticipation that they set off for Jerusalem when the time of purification had been completed.
“I am mindful of the words of Elizabeth when I visited her,” Mary told Joseph as they travelled. “’Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished,’ and here we are, finally on our way to dedicate our child.”
“The Lord’s, Elohim’s child” murmured Joseph, “and it will be my privilege to teach him and guard him as long as I can. How blessed we are to have such an honour.”
“It is as I said to Elizabeth, my soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. Oh, my husband, the Mighty One has indeed done great things.”
It was a journey of several miles to Jerusalem, but the time was spent in joyful conversation as the new parents prepared to dedicate the infant firstborn in consecration to the Lord.
As they entered the Temple they were met by a man called Simeon. Here was a man who knew, for it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. When the Holy Spirit directed him to enter the temple courts, it was to find Mary and Joseph bringing in the child Jesus in obedience to the Law. How Simeon rejoiced as he took the child in his arms.
“Sovereign Lord,” he acknowledged, “You can now dismiss your servant in peace for my eyes have seen your salvation...”
As the child’s mother and father marvelled, another came and praised the Lord, blessing the child. She was a prophetess, Anna, an old lady widowed after only seven years of marriage and now eighty-four years old. She had spent her life worshipping in the temple. She too recognised the child who brought redemption, and knew that she had met with the Saviour. What joy filled the hearts of these two, for they rejoiced in the knowledge that it was not only in this life that they were blessed, but now for all eternity.
That story can be read in Luke 2:21-38, and gives us, also, the knowledge that we can live in joy and worship on into eternity because we have accepted the price that was paid for us by the child become Man, God Incarnate.
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