When the child Jesus was presented at the temple by his parents, he was recognized by two ordinary persons.
‘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 upon him’ (Luke 2:25).
‘There was also a prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel——-She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.’ (Luke 2:36,37)
What was remarkable was that these two had the discernment to look at the child Jesus and see Christ, the Savior of the world, long before he began his ministry. What was also amazing was that these two were not prominent people in the society at that time and led a rather ‘routine’ life.
So very often, Christians are urged to look at the amazing lives of stalwarts and encouraged to replicate them. Achieving extraordinary things for God is not an unreasonable objective, yet it is true that most people will be asked to live out lives not accomplishing prominent things but routine things. In the struggle to emulate a great preacher or a leader who influences many people, Christians often forget that God values not just the prominent but also the routine. The Bible is replete with examples of many unnamed people who did what was asked of them- the person whose donkey Jesus rode, the person who opened the upper room for Jesus’ final Passover, the musicians who played for David, the workers who built for Solomon, the servant girl who advised Naaman and so on.
Each person is called to serve the Lord and live for him in a unique way. Even the people who are called to prominent ministry will spend the majority of their lives doing the routine things of life where they will be challenged to live for God and honor him- being a good spouse, fulfilling the responsibilities as a parent or as a child, being responsive to the needs of others around them, using words to comfort and encourage, spending time wisely and so on. When the focus moves away from the glamor and presumed superiority of the extraordinary things, people are freed to live for God every day and honor him.
As somebody said, ‘You might not be able to great things, but you certainly can do small things in a great way’.
And that is what Anna and Simeon did. As they lived out their daily lives, doing the same things, not being prominent, they rejoiced in the presence of God and at the right time, had the discernment to recognize Jesus and encourage his parents who needed it to continue to care for him through challenging times.
Rejoicing in the routines as he lives by the Spirit, is the call for every Christian.
- SEEKING FEAR
- BEING WATCHFUL