Simeon & Anna
by Brett Barry
Greetings, Dear Cornerstone!
Today I'm including below, a section of Scripture that I've been pondering over the past couple weeks. And, rather than write a full perspective on what God's been speaking to me, I'm going to share what I'm seeing in SOAP form - which is more a bullet point format. SOAP is an acronym for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer that we use at a weekly men's Bible study I attend. We usually read a chapter together, then prayerfully write down in our journal what the Spirit is impressing upon our hearts regarding the personal application of what He's showing us. If you've never done this, I encourage you to incorporate something like it into your time with the Lord. It's enlightening, challenging, and deeply encouraging!
Have a blessed week,
(S) Luke 2:25-38:
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; 30 for my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Anna Bears Witness to the Redeemer
36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years,[b] who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord,[c] and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
(O) Struck by the lives of both Simeon and Anna
- Simeon: a man…yet righteous, devout and on a mission—waiting for the consolation of Israel; old. Holy Spirit revealed to him, directed him, gave him insight, spoke through him—recognized Jesus as Savior and proclaimed His salvation and Lordship to Gentiles and Israel...
- Anna: old, devoted fully to the Lord for at least the past 60 years of her life, never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying—recognized Jesus and proclaimed His salvation to all around...
- Christ had just arrived, the Holy Spirit hadn’t even been poured out, yet by the Spirit they both saw with such clarity that it fully captured their desire and focus; living fully devoted lives they were clearly directed and drawn to God's presence in the temple.
(A) Conversely, I supposedly have that same Spirit living IN me, and my body is a temple of the very God they attended the temple to worship; yet I tend to “leave.” My mind wanders, my emotions war, my will resists…when I'm truly honest with myself, I can see that something’s not right. While growing up in Christ is a process, is it possible to see what they saw and yet remain indifferent to or accepting of my lack? Or, have I not yet seen? Or, having seen, do I simply not want to pay the price of worshiping day and night with prayer and fasting?
(P) Search me, O God and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. By Your Spirit, I take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ, that Your will and priority might be established both in me and through me. For the glory of Your good name and the advancement of Your Kingdom on earth, Amen.