When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed–and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:22 – 35)

When I was pregnant with our first child, I hoped it would be a boy. Not because I did not want a daughter but because I was not sure I could replicate the supportive relationship I had/have with my mother and I didn’t want to be any less of a mother to my daughter. Well, I had a girl . . . and I was able to be the mom to her that I wanted.

Our next child was a boy, and his doctor predicted at 9 lb 15 oz he would be a football player for sure. But that was not to be. He has had his challenges with a diagnosis of Asperger’s and never really fitted into mainstream society. Our first born, my daughter, had a traumatic head injury just as she was entering adolescence, and as the years have gone by has been faced with challenges of her own.

Our youngest is a transgender female who also has a mental health diagnosis. All of them struggle in a society that has just rigid expectations. And while the mother of Jesus and I have had greatly different experiences of motherhood, we both have has “swords pierce” our motherly souls. We will have so much to talk about in the life to come.

I had no “Simeon” to prepare me and predict the course of my motherhood; sometimes I wish I had. But then, maybe it was better not knowing so I could take it one step at a time. I had not considered that maybe Mary might have been better off too, not knowing. We will probably discuss that too.

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Verses 36 – 38)

My husband’s mother’s mother used to tell me “You take good care of that baby” as if she didn’t think I knew how to do it. My husband and my mother-in-law told he she had said the same thing to other mothers, her daughter/my husband’s mom included. But at some point she stopped saying it to me. I often wondered, and hoped, that I had proved myself to her.

How Mary must have wondered how she was going to manage. I suspect that she did turn to the Divine often, asking and questioning if she was doing the correct thing and raising Jesus as she ought. Have you ever considered, beloved reader, that part of the reason Jesus was so meek and mild was because his mother raised him that way? We assume, and maybe for good reason, that Jesus was so gentle, kind, and merciful because he was the Son of Divine, and so was formed in this way from birth. But maybe Mary’s influence was a part of that, and the Lord God saw something in Mary that indicated she would raise Jesus up in the image of the Divine. The writer of Luke tells us . . . .

“When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (Verses 39 – 40)

This is interesting to consider, when you consider and take into account the character of the Messiah was seen in the Old Testament as mighty and strong, and fit for battle as it was understood in those times.

“Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah” ( Psalm 24:7-10)

Jesus’ “triumphal” entry into Jerusalem was done on the back of young donkey colt, and not on the back of a mighty steed. More of a meek and mild Mary’s boy than armored son of a mighty king. But you know, beloved reader, it takes grit and determination to make your way in this world when so many things seem to conspire against you, and when society casts you aside and expressed doubt in your abilities. That is the type of thing my children have struggled against, and have persevered in making their own and taking a stand. But we moms know how to prepare our kids to take on the world, and succeed! Selah!