Oh the piercing of the soul during Advent…

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
25 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 on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very own soul too.” — Luke 2:22-35

** Perhaps only a mother can ever fully understand “And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

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** I try to imagine that this piercing of Mary’s own soul was precisely her feeling as she stood at the foot of the Cross…

 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, Here is your mother. From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.  John 19:25-27 

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** My Iowa State University physics professor friend wrote recently about praying for the safety of our children and those to whom we are most dear.  “Surely Mary, like all parents, cared about the safety and well-being of her Son.  But what if her prayers for His safety had been answered?  God’s plan meant working beyond her Son’s safety and security at that moment.

** God invites us to pray not only for our desires for our children and those we love but also to ask God what His desires are for those we most care about. 

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** Prayer surely goes way beyond our own limited knowledge.

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“Heavenly Father, may I quietly, honestly, carefully listen for your desires for those I love, rather than only speaking my own desires, which so often can be motivated by fear or
wanting to get my own way.”

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