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.” (Luke 2:34, 35 NIV)
This weekend I get the great opportunity to dedicate a good friend of mine’s three children. It is one of my most rewarding aspects as a pastor. The parents are beaming with joy as their child is in front of the church as we pray a blessing over their life. When reading this passage I can see in my mind’s eye Mary and Joseph acting the very same way. Simeon’s blessing must of put a sense of hope and purpose in their hearts. Can you imagine your child on dedication day recieving a bless like this. Their child Jesus was destined to cause a falling and rising. Meaning His impact on the world was going to cause people to decide what they believed. Yet that is not where the blessing stops. There is this “a sword will pierce your own soul too”, business. Meaning for Mary heartache was going to become a reality. Probably getting her ready for the price her son was going to pay for the world.
Nobody tells you when you start having kids your soul is going to be pierced. Yes they say it’s hard, and they try to help you to get ready for a life change. I have four kids, the oldest is ten and the youngest is two. I am not someone to start writing parenting tips. What I do know is that I love my kids and pray with them almost every night, “May The Lord bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you all the days of your life. May you love as if your life depends on it. May you live in God’s fullness, and may you lead like you are.” In fact just last night my six year old daughter prayed this prayer as I walked into her room to tuck her in. In that moment I was full of joy. My girl is praying a prayer that I believe with all my heart for my kids. It was a moment that I have been waiting for.
I think the moments that I am not looking for are the ones that are going to pierce my soul. I am sure if Mary was told the exact way her son was going to die she would of tried with all her might to make that never happen. The hard thing is nine out of ten times the right thing to do. I want my kids to do the right thing! I want the people in my church to do the right thing! I am looking forward to teaching my kids how to drive, at the same time I am not looking forward to them driving away to whatever God leads them to go. I look forward to people learning how much God loves them and decide to live their life differently because of that love, I do not look forward to when the way God is leading them is in a new community. I need to get use to the idea that my soul is going to be pierced. In fact a wholly soul is a holy soul. If my wife, kids and my friends live life in the fullness of God it is going to pierce my soul so many times that it will look like swiss cheese.
How am I going to make it?!? I think what Luke says about Mary later in the chapter is a great place to start, “”uc">But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19 NIV). I choose to treasure my wife, without her I would have no kids, and later on in this race called life she will be there. My kids will follow God and my friends will change but my bride and best friend is not going anywhere. I choose to treasure my kids. May The Lord remind me that they are worth everything to me. I choose to treasure my friends, that when their living in God’s fullness is different than my plans, it may sting at first, but in the end it will be well with my soul. As I ponder in my heart all that I am blessed with may God continually speak deep to my heart and soul.
I pray that my life would be full of swords piercing my soul. I pray that God would show me how to be like Mary and follow hard after the Holy Spirits plans. Lord bless my wife today, give her strength and wisdom. God bless my kids today. Father lead me to lead like you with my marriage, family and church.
This is how wholy or holy I desire my soul to be.