During Advent & Christmas, we are featuring devotionals written by clergy of the Greater NJ Annual Conference of the UMC. For this week, we are focused on reflections related to Simeon, based on the Gospel of Luke.
25 A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law. 28 Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,
29 “Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word,
30 because my eyes have seen your salvation.
31 You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples.
32 It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and a glory for your people Israel.”
33 His father and mother were amazed by what was said about him. 34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “This boy is assigned to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that generates opposition 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your innermost being too.”
Before Simeon meets Jesus: put yourself in Simeon’s shoes: use your five senses to consider the scene: What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you taste? What can you touch? And now that you are fully in the scene: What are you thinking and feeling? How does this help you consider the ways that God is with the world?
And now do the same now that Simeon met Jesus: Use your five senses to consider the scene: What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you taste? What can you touch? And now that you are fully in the scene, what are you thinking and feeling? How does this help you consider the ways that God is with the world?
By the Rev. Jacki Pillot
For Pondering & Prayer
If you’ve never used the five senses technique for focus, now is a great time to give it a try! This technique is not only good for the practice seen above, but also for easing anxiety. Next time you’re feeling a little anxious try this: name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. Notice how you feel before and after trying this practice.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, open us to our surroundings today. Amen.