Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Accepting the Elderly

Luke 2:25-38

Rev. Shibu Mathew

Epiphany MTC, NY
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

This Sunday is set apart as Senior Citizen Sunday. Today’s passage is about the prophetical role of two old people, Simeon and Anna, who blessed the infant Jesus with a special understanding of God’s plan and purpose. Luke records Simeon as a righteous, devout, hope generating  and a spirit filled person. He is looking forward to the consolation of Israel. The “consolation of Israel” was a term for the restoration of the people and fulfillment of God’s redemptive work. Simeon recognized that redemptive work without any supernatural incidents. All that happened in this incident was in an ordinary way, poor parents, little child, young pigeons …But the Holy spirit enabled him to see God’s work of salvation  through  ordinary events and persons .Simeon saw God’s salvation not because he happened to live at the right moment in history but because his devotion and work of the spirit in him had led him to understand that God’s hand was at work in Jesus’ birth. The challenge of modern Christians, therefore to find effective rituals for celebrating the presence of God in the ordinary.  

The old woman Anna also pictured as a prophetess. Anna’s character and piety are emphasized here. She was a descendant of the family from the northern kingdom, and a devout widow, advanced in age. She had spend a major part of her life in God’s temple with prayer and fasting. Anna blessed the child with a thankful heart and shared the good news to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. This is really a prophetic ministry to call the people towards God and His salvation. We need to be prophets like Simeon and Anna faithful to God and worshiping community who recognize sacredness of life and presence of God through their daily interactions.

There is a beauty in nature at every season; a virtue that is appropriate to humans at every age and season. The old age is a season of recollection, contribution and preparation. In the blessed life of Simeon and Anna we can see the recollection of their God experience, contribution from their matured faith and a preparation for the final union with Christ. Old age should be faith matured, enjoyed, lived out with serenity and acceptance. The younger generation has the responsibility to respect our seniors and acknowledge their contributions which they have rendered towards our church and public community .  Let us pray to the Lord Almighty to enable our elders to carry out the mission of being witness to the past and a source of wisdom for the young and an inspiration for the future.

Prayer: O Lord help us to remember our past, interpret our present and look forward the future with a renewed  vision. Amen

Thought for the day: God can use you at any age-if you are willing.

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