Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of Dec. 28, 2008
The 2008-2009 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Growing in wisdom and grace
"And Jesus' father and his mother marveled at
what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them
and said to Mary his mother, 'Behold, this child
is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel,
and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword
will pierce through your own soul also), that
thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.'
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter
of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of
a great age, having lived with her husband seven
years from her virginity, and as a widow till she
was eighty-four. She did not depart from the
temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night
and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave
thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were
looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. And
when they had performed everything according to
the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee,
to their own city, Nazareth. And the child Jesus
grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and
the favor of God was upon him."
Today's passage provides a glimmer of insight about
the childhood of Jesus. From the first moments of
his conception and birth, his parents marveled at
what was said about him. From birth, complete and
total strangers blessed their baby boy publicly.
People excitedly told others about this remarkable
child, such as the shepherds, the foreign and
strange Magi from afar (Matthew 2:1-12), and the
very old devout Simeon and Anna in the temple.
Jesus was blessed, affirmed, celebrated, and
marveled at by all patiently awaiting the long
expected Messiah. The grace of God was clearly
Simeon both blessed and prophesied about this
amazing child. He specifically told Mary that
one day a sword would pierce her heart. In other
words, Jesus would break her heart. Anna, who
was also a very old and wise prophetess,
immediately identified the Christ child as an
historic and revolutionary person sent from God.
Both elders spoke to many worshippers in the
temple about the child, Jesus.
We do know that Mary and Joseph returned to their
hometown, Nazareth. There they raised Jesus as a
devout, orthodox Jewish son. Jesus grew up and
became strong, filled with wisdom, and God's grace
was evident upon him. He was blessed from
conception, birth, child dedication, and childhood.
He could reach his full potential because he was
loved, blessed, valued, and cherished.
Many people live in search of their blessing.
Often their parents have never given it to them.
As a result, their children often spend their
lives seeking affirmation and belonging,
sometimes in the wrong places. Families are
not easy to live with. Sometimes we break each
other's hearts. All children need parental
blessing to thrive.
Perhaps you have never felt parental blessing.
Some parents are incapable of blessing their
children. I have noticed over the years that
the most painful thing a parent can say is, "I
wish you had never been born." I have seen tears
come to people's eyes when I have said, "God
Out of the same mouth comes blessings and cursing.
Choose to bless. Blessings beget blessings. God
God, bless us, each and every one. Bless us daily.
Bless our loved ones. Teach us how to bless others
and grow in the wisdom and grace of young Jesus.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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