Shepherds, Simeon, & Anna

As I was scanning my bookshelf the other day, I discovered an Elizabeth George book, Living with Passion and Purpose. It is a Bible study on the book of Luke which I had picked up with a couple of other studies, but never got around to doing it. What a perfect time to begin this — just as we are heading into the celebration of Christ’s birth!

Today I looked at chapter 2 of Luke and was struck by how verbal those who encountered Christ (even as a young baby) became. First there were the shepherds.

And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:17-18, 20 (Emphasis added)

Then when Jesus was a little more than a month old, Simeon responded with great blessing and prophecy:

he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

Luke 2:28-35 (Emphasis added)

And just moments later the old, dedicated prophetess Anna spoke:

And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:38

I know that this is all old info to most believers. I have known these parts of the stories for many years myself, but this is the first time that I’ve turned it back to myself. I have encountered Jesus and He has not left me unchanged. He has given me new life. He has given me freedom. He has shown me His worth, yet I am not as audible about my faith as these. I do love to write and can spend hours writing the Truth, what He is teaching me, how He has worked, etc. But I do not often speak about it. And so I am challenged to allow my faith to become more audible. To be willing to talk to the people I meet about His work, rather than to always stand quietly smiling. There are times and places for that, but in general, I hope to be more like Anna and “speak to all who are waiting for the redemption.” Many people are waiting, searching, and hoping for redemption. If only we would speak more about Him, perhaps they would discover that redemption is here!

I want to finish with George’s final paragraph from the study. It’s really good food for thought:

Think about your heart for a minute. How audible is your passion for Jesus? And how intense is the heat of your love for Him? The presence of the Savior should inspire a fervent reaction in your soul… just like it did in the shepherds, in Simeon, and in Anna. These believers verbalized and shared their passion — and the good news! — with others. Does your passion for the Son of Man show? Is it known by others? Are you, like the shepherds, glorifying and praising God for all that you know and have heard? Are you, like Simeon, blessing God with your every breath for His salvation? And are you, like dear Anna, giving thanks and telling others about the Lord Jesus? Are others hearing of your passion for Christ?

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