Hats off to those who are “very old”
Luke 2: She was by now a very old woman.
Jesus is now eight days old and his parents take their newborn to the nearby Temple in Jerusalem for the rite of passage for every Jewish boy. Lots of people spend their days at the Temple. Some are there as doing jobs and others are simply devout people who’d rather be there than anywhere else. On this day we meet two senior citizens who are Temple regulars. One is a kindly old gentleman who loves baby dedications. He spends his time hanging out in the area where that takes place congratulating parents and asking if he can take a peek at their eight day old boys. The other is a sweet but reclusive woman who spends her days in the Court of Women. Lots of people see her there because this is where the offerings are given, but she’s generally off to the side and out of the flow, head bowed in prayer. When Joseph and Mary bring baby Jesus to the Temple, Simeon heads straight to them. There’s purpose in his walk and he gently asks if he can hold the baby. With tears in his eyes he praises God. Joseph and Mary are speechless and thrilled with this event. Then, the other senior saint shows up. Aged Anna joins them and starts singing a wonderful song of praise to God. The official baby dedication by the priest hasn’t yet happened, but these two senior adults who are so in tune with God do the most important part of the dedication on this day. As I look back over my life and think of folks who are best connected to the Lord I’m not surprised to find that they’re all older people. I’m a strong believer in God’s transforming works of grace in our lives but I also understand that maturity and spiritual depth only comes over time. When a person who’s faithfully walked with the Lord for 80 years has something to say we’re smart to listen.
Take Away: The only way to become a mature Christian is to be a faithful Christian for a long time.