Reading: Luke 2: 22-40
Verse 22: “Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord”.
Has something surprising happened when you did not expect it? Can you remember a time when your routine was interrupted by something extraordinary? When we are faithful, sometimes God shows up in the most unexpected or in the unlikeliest of ways.
On the last Sunday of each month our church has been offering a free meal to the community. We have had some guests from the community but we’re not getting much response. Our outreach meal was mostly feeding about 30-40 people from our church. After six months of meals, I prayed for guidance and direction and was questioning if we should continue the meal. Then God sent Alma. She connected the offer of free food with the segment of our community with such a need. For the December meal we fed over 120 people, most of them a direct result of Alma’s efforts. God made things happen in an unexpected and surprising way. Thanks be to God!
The time came for Mary and Joseph to present their child in the temple. As was according to the Law, they went to the temple and took with them the needed sacrifice. They were doing what thousands and thousands of devout Jewish parents had always done. It was a simple trip to and from Jerusalem, maybe do a little shopping while we’re there kind of trip. But as they are in the temple, God sends not one but two special people to speak about their son. God suddenly bursts into the ordinary of life.
Our fellowship meal had become a monthly meal where people from our church gathered to eat, fellowship, and spend time together. Although not really what it was designed for, it was a good thing that was happening. And then Alma happened.
This is Mary and Joseph’s story too. Travel, arrive, circumcise, present, offer sacrifice, … and then Simeon happens. He tells them that Jesus will cause the rising and falling of many. And then Anna happens. She tells them that this child will be the redemption of Jerusalem. God bursts in and Mary and Joseph are amazed.
Where is God going to burst into your life and your world in extraordinary ways? Are you looking? Are you praying? Is the Spirit within you willing? May the Lord our God do amazing things this day in our lives!