Daily reading: 3 February
This child is destined for the falling and rising of many.
Something to read
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.'’
Something to think about
Simeon's message to Mary outlines a couple of things:
Firstly, how people respond to Jesus and his message will determine their destiny. Many of Jesus' contemporaries receive his message and are saved, but the religious community, by and large, can't bring themselves to believe that Jesus can be God's Messiah.
Secondly, through the Holy Spirit, Simeon can see the deep anguish that Mary will feel as her son is rejected by the nation's leaders and ultimately crucified.
No doubt both Joseph and Mary are, as any parents would be, in awe of the blessing being spoken over them and of Jesus. This family was definitely united.
Something to do
Today our understanding of a traditional family is changing. The UK Statistics Authority states the total number of families reached 18.9 million in 2016. This number is made up of married couples, lone mothers and cohabiting couples.
One way you can help vulnerable families is by welcoming refugees. When we hear negative messages about refugees in the media, their inherent dignity is challenged. Stand up and show your love for families seeking refuge.
Something to pray
to those who are hungry
and to us who have bread
give hunger for justice.
Today’s contributor is Dionne Gravesande, Christian Aid’s Senior Ecumenical Relations Manager.