For this Advent and Christmastide, we are deepening into the question of How Does a Weary World Rejoice? You can follow along with daily devotionals on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
After the shepherds and angels depart, after being counted for the census, after the wise ones drop off their gifts, then what? Mary and Joseph needed to make their way back home. But first, they had an important ritual — the Jewish rite of circumcision for an eight-day-old male. So they headed to the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:21-38).
There they encounter Simeon, who had long awaited to meet the Messiah, and Anna, an 84-year-old prophet, who spends all her time in the temple. They both predict ominous things for this baby boy. It probably startled and even scared the new parents.
The Sunday after Christmas is a time to pivot from the excitement and build-up to the Big Day and to think about what it means for going forward. As we continue in our series “How does a weary world rejoice?” it’s also a time to ask how our rituals, both sacred and secular, both personal and public, help ground us. On Sunday, we’ll ground ourselves in this story of ritual, sing some more of our favorite carols, and reflect on how our rituals serve us.
Image credit: James B. Janknegt, ‘The Presentation of Jesus’, Texas, 2008