The Simeon Announcement

Guido Reni's Joseph with the Infant Jesus, abo...

Image via Wikipedia

If you’ve ever read the New Testament of the Christian Bible, perhaps you’ve come across the story of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35).  It goes like this:

After Jesus is born, his parents, Mary and Joseph, take him to the Jewish temple in Jerusalem to be dedicated, as was the custom of their faith. They had become parents that dark night in the stable not long before, when the shepherds came to see and the wise men followed the star in the East to offer gifts.

The timeline of the next two events is somewhat confusing, but at some point, Mary and Joseph fled down the road to Egypt, a path traveled in both directions by their ancestors, to protect their child from Herod’s vengeance. King Herod had heard about Jesus from the wise men and decided that, to protect his own power, all firstborn male children age 2 years and younger should be killed.

In the second event, Mary and Joseph go to the temple to have Jesus consecrated.  Mary is perhaps only 17 years old; Joseph is not much older.

While at the temple, they encounter an elderly man who seeks them out to see Jesus and give Mary and Joseph a message. This man is Simeon, and what he tells Mary has been called The Simeon Announcement (I can’t claim rights to this term.  I read it in Joyce Rupp’s book, Your Sorrow is My Sorrow). He tells Mary that her son will be the cause of the rise and fall of many in Israel. Then he says to her: “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

At the time, Mary isn’t sure what this proclamation means. She does not yet know that Simeon’s announcement will one day lead her to the foot of the cross on which her son is dying, but perhaps she understands enough to know that this announcement will change the way she views her life.  From that moment on, she can no longer be innocent but must bear the weight of whatever is to come.

The diagnosis of breast cancer was my Simeon Announcement.

What’s yours?

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3 Responses to “The Simeon Announcement”

  1. Cathi Says:

    Mary lost her innocence and bore the weight of whatever was to come as soon as the angel announced that she was pregnant with God’s child while unmarried in a society which stoned fornicators and adulterers. 😦

    • Julie Yamamoto Says:

      And that’s the big misunderstanding — that you lose your innocence only once. No — it happens many times throughout life, depending on your situation and your world view.

  2. Killing the Messenger | Wayfarer Says:

    […] The Simeon Announcement […]


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