Monday 24 December 2012

Jerusalem Widow: Encountering Jesus

The Bible offers detailed accounts of the birth of Jesus in the gospels of Matthew (Matthew 1 & 2) and Luke (Luke 1 - 2:40). It presents the details of the birth, shows how Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah are fulfilled in him and presents a number of descriptions of the encounters of ordinary people with the Son of God. Two of the most wonderful stories in the gospel accounts are the encounters of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:21-38). Both knew from the Scriptures of Jesus coming, and each rejoiced at what it meant to them personally when he arrived as a baby in Bethlehem. Two separate people who faithfully waited for the promised Messiah, and who overflowed with joy when he entered the world.

At this time when we remember the birth of Jesus and rejoice that in him salvation has come, I thought I would simply share a beautiful poem, 'Jerusalem's Widow', written by my daughter in 2008. It tells of the elderly widow Anna, a faithful servant of God fasting and praying constantly in the Temple. Married just seven years, she spent the rest of her life serving and worshiping her God, as she awaited the Messiah. "She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying awaited the arrival of the promised Messiah." (Luke 2: 37). Rembrandt's painting (circa 1627) of Simeon and Anna meeting Jesus (left), captures something of the wonder of the moment when she sees him for the first time.

Jerusalem Widow
By Nicole Starling

Luke 2:36-38, Lamentations 1:1-2, Isaiah 54:1-4

Married seven short years,
Jerusalem widow
alone and childless,
makes the temple her home.

She does not know
the chatter of children
squeezed around
a table filled with food.
Just the hard knot of hunger,
fasting day and night.

She has no comfort
in the night.
No warm arms
slipped around her belly
as she sleeps.
Instead, she weeps into the dark,
And waits a lifetime.

But when a baby comes
one ordinary day,
She knows.
Her wait is over.
She takes the baby,
and holds him.

Jerusalem widow
(like widow Jerusalem)
cradling salvation in her arms.

Thank you for supporting CASE and reading this blog. Might all our readers encounter Jesus in their own way at Christmas.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

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