Luke 1-2~ Day 23~ Lots to ponder in just two chapters!
We start a new book today!
I found the prophesy of Old Man Simeon to be profound! I wondered why this verse isn’t read along with the Christmas verses we read each year? We tend to focus on the angels praising God and saying to the shepherds, “I bring you good news of great joy for all people.” (2:10). Yet the fact is, the good news is for “those on whom his favor rests” (2:14) And those would be the ones Simeon is referring to who had hearts that revealed a devotion to Christ.
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” (2:34) I think it’s interesting that this part of the Christmas story is completely left out these days, wouldn’t you agree?
On a lighter note, I also noticed how much walking Mary did during her pregnancy!! I guess this stood out to me today, because I always thought the journey to Bethlehem would have been hard for Mary, but I noticed this time reading, the journey would have been familiar to her. She had already done it earlier in the year!
Assuming she started off in Nazareth “engaged” to Joseph, she took off to the “hill country of Judea” (1:40). The traditional town believed to be the birth site of John the Baptist was Ein Karem. That was 90 miles from Nazareth! I read one website that says, “Assuming an average pace of 2.5 mph, 20 miles a day, would mean a trip of four 8-hour days.” No wonder Mary stayed awhile after she arrived! Three months later she walks back to Nazareth with some “splainin” to do when she sees Joesph.
Then, 6 months later, she turns around and heads the same direction again to the region of Judea, this time with Joseph. Nazareth to Bethlehem is 80 miles! A little shorter distance this time, but I’m sure more difficult considering her condition. I can imagine the first trip to visit Elizabeth was a helpful memory for Mary on her second trip when she was “great with child”. Can’t you just imagine her thinking, “I can do this! I did it before. I can make it!” I’m sure she needed to do some pep talking to herself! After all, just because she was the mother of Jesus does’t mean she wasn’t human!