December 12, 2020
A Bucket List of Love – Luke 2:21-38
Dr. Larry S. Lightner
Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel. –Luke 2:29-32
President George H.W. Bush jumped out of a plane at the age of 90, strapped to Sgt. First Class Mike Elliot. It was on his bucket list (of course it was on his bucket list for 80 years and 85 years as well).
Do you set aside some things to do before end of life? Maybe not jumping out of a plane, but nevertheless, things on your bucket list? Climb Mt. Everest, meet with a famous person, go fishing for salmon or sharks, or graduate with your doctorate?
In our passage we read about Simeon and Anna. Long years ago (first century), Luke peeks in on an otherwise ordinary day. There are no neon lights, smoke drifting across the stage, and not even nativity sets and decorated Christmas trees. It is a story of meeting Joseph and Mary showing up for the ordinary purification ritual. It was an act of obedience.
Except this rite was being performed for Jesus, the Son of God, the One who spoke the creation into existence. He was publicly identifying with His people Israel. He is identifying with those who were not pure so that it would be clear that all who would believe would one day become pure.
Too poor to afford the expected sacrifice, the young couple purchased turtledoves for their required offerings. God would accept that, for Joseph and Mary experienced God’s love.
Strange, is it not, how God breaks through to provide what is needed in this world.
There was a sense in that Temple that here was a young one who one day would become the perfect sacrifice for sins that the turtledoves symbolized. Here is the Lamb of God to be slain for the sins of the world.
It seems that no one in the Temple that day looked for the Christ child. There were no lines formed to seek a Savior. No one expected that this story should be written down for future readers and hearers. No one expected to hear from God. The religious academics were busy pouring over their documents, uninterested in the ongoings in the Temple.
Simeon and Anna, however lived their lives out looking for God’s provision of love. They discover that provision in the Christ Child. They were amazed at what God provided in front of their very eyes. In their faith, out of God’s love, is a child being presented who fulfills Scripture’s very promise of a coming Messiah.
They listened to the voice of God’s Spirit; thus, heard His speaking to their hearts. Their realization was that because of what God demonstrated to them, they were now ready to go home to their great God.
Do your bucket lists get in the way of seeing the important truths God wants us to have? Simeon and Anna demonstrate that the truth of fulfilled prophecy sets one free. What is on our bucket list that interrupts what we really need to see and experience?
- Pray that God would keep us focused on His great love for us.
- Pray that God would expose His truth to us in a way that excites us about His intents for those He created.