The First 15

Thursday December 30, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Today is Thursday, December 30, and this week we are exploring what the Bible says about finding Christ.

Opening Prayer

As I enter into prayer, I pause to be still, to slow down my breathing, and to be more fully present with God in these moments.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me release my worries and concerns into your care as I rest with you in these moments of stillness. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I choose to offer my thanks to God, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 119 .

You are my portion, Lord;

I have promised to obey your words.

I have sought your face with all my heart;

be gracious to me according to your promise. – Psalm 119:57-58 NIV

Pause and Pray

Today I am reflecting on the story of the infant Jesus being presented to the Lord by his parents at the Temple in Jerusalem

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.

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 on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,

you may now dismiss your servant in peace.

For my eyes have seen your salvation,

which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and the glory of your people Israel.” – Luke 2:22, 25-32

Reflection

Three things I look for while reflecting on the scripture passage today.

Pilgrimage. A journey of seeking, often to a sacred place, as an act of devotion.

Incarnation. God became flesh and was born on earth as Jesus Christ, who was both fully human and fully divine.

Epiphany. The revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi. An epiphany is also a moment of sudden revelation or insight.

I notice that Mary and Joseph carry the infant Jesus on this pilgrimage from Bethlehem to the Temple in Jerusalem. They go on this pilgrimage as a family.

Simeon is also on a pilgrimage and is moved by the Spirit to enter the Temple courts where he experiences an epiphany, or revelation that God had promised to him.

By now we recognize that wherever Jesus is present, God incarnate is present, and to all creation.

Ask: What has been most helpful about this week’s practice of looking for pilgrimage, incarnation and epiphany?

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, guide me in my thoughts and help me notice what you want me to see and hear as I slowly read the passage once more.

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.

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 on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,

you may now dismiss your servant in peace.

For my eyes have seen your salvation,

which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and the glory of your people Israel.” – Luke 2:22, 25-32

Ask: What did the Holy Spirit guide me to notice this time as I read the passage?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me look inward and pay attention to what you have led me to see and hear. I invite you to transform me in these moments so that I might reflect the thoughts and actions of Jesus Christ throughout this day. Amen.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; – Psalm 95:6

Closing Prayer

Father, prepare me to live this day being faithful to you in every way. Jesus, help me serve others with your compassion and grace. Holy Spirit, transform my inner thoughts and motivations so that all I do, I do to please you. Amen.

The First 15

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