How To Be An Actor in the Best Story Ever Told–Part I of II

 I hate to say it, but I was typecast from the start.
 I was always an angel in the Christmas play, never motherly enough to be Mary, never stocky enough to be a shepherd, I hated public speaking, so I usually wasn’t the narrator, unless they were really desperate.  And some years they were.
I was, however, a sheep one year and I have to say, the little hoodies they gave the kids to wear were pretty cute. 
Memorizing lines and songs to Christmas plays has always been quite nerve-wracking and I did have to sing a solo one year in school.  I’m so glad those years are over.
And yet, for some reason, we insist on placing our own children into the vicious play circle…
When you think about it, every minute of every day WE have the opportunity to play a part in God’s bigger story.  Sure, for a lot of us, the roles have already been assigned: mom, dad, banker, physician, accountant, grandma, but if you can for a minute just sit back and imagine your life as a play, sooner or later you’ll come to the conclusion that no good play is without conflict, joy, sadness, heartache, loss, triumph.
Let’s take a look at Luke 2: 21-36.
The characters:
-Simeon: a priest in Jerusalem who was righteous and devout
-Mary: a young mother, who had just finish her 40 day purification after the birth of her child trying to figure out: a) how to be a wife b)how to be a mother c) how to travel with a newborn baby
-Joseph: a man who was following the command of God, ever-listening to what God wanted next for the Savior of mankind, also trying to figure out how to be a husband and a father
-Anna: a prophetess and a widow, very old, completely devoted to God and spent every waking moment at the temple
The setting: The temple in Jerusalem
Enter: Mary and Joseph:
When their time of purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Spotlight on Simeon:
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.  He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  Moved by the Spirit, he went in the temple courts.  When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.
Can you picture it? Every parent knows how special their child is, that they are destined for great things, this child, this little light is different and set apart, but can you imagine hearing this prophecy with your own ears?
Is there a better word for speechless?
Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “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.  And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Here it was, in one prophecy, the destiny of her child.  Wrapped up in a few sentences was His life story, which included the pain and agony of her own–his death predicted years later.
Come back tomorrow for more…

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