We have babies!!  We got a text message from our young adult pastor, Michael Paradise, this morning that said that Simeon and Anna had been born at about 5:45 a.m.  They obviously didn’t want to miss Christmas and arranged to come ahead of schedule!  As I think about the gift that these babies will be to all of us, I am reminded of the gift that Bethlehem’s baby is to us.  While Simeon and Anna bring us joy, Bethlehem’s Baby gives us mercy and eternal life.  I am reminded of the Simeon and Anna who welcomed Jesus into this world so very long ago:  they had spent their lives longing and praying for the coming of the Savior–the sinless substitute for our lives.

You see, sin entered our lives because of the moment, so long ago, when Adam and Eve took the fruit in the garden in an effort to be like God.  And that is what sin is:  man substituting himself for God.  Oh, we do it in many different ways, but it is really all the same thing.  It is all life without God.  Because of that sinful choice, Bethlehem’s Baby (God) substituted himself for man in the cradle and on the cross.  Is it because of Bethlehem’s Baby that we are able to welcome little Simeon and Anna into a world filled with hope.  And as they learn to surrender their lives to God and allow Him to be their substitute, they will be filled with His Spirit just as the first Anna and Simeon were so very long ago.  Welcome to our family Anna and Simeon – and Merry Christmas!


Photo credit:  Julie Escobar