34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul. — Luke 2:34-35
I always thought Simeon meant Mary’s soul would be pierced because of what truly was the gut-wrenching, horrible day her son so painfully died on his cross. Then my mother died. Now I think Mary’s soul was pierced because so many people in Israel fell. Boom. Flat. Down. Not getting back up. This news, dear Simeon, wasn’t just heartbreaking for the Mother of God; this widespread, systemic and non-descript loss was weighted, troublesome and soul-breaking to Mary.
Do you know mothers and hardworking sons? If you don’t, let me share that my mom’s soul would get heavy when her son (that is me) would preach the message of Jesus Christ after facing empty pews or people who did an “eh,” at my ministry and moved on to, well, nothing. She’d not just see the work beforehand, she’d feel the work as it came in, around and through a pulpit. She’d hear the passion, the conviction and the care. She’d applaud the loss of self to the role of servanthood.
You know the “And then….” Speaking into silence, indifference, or a half-baked interest that the devil breaks before the keys to the worshipper’s car hit the dish by the refrigerator after church, both Mary and moms like mine would stand in the same sorrow Jesus did when he saw the city of Jerusalem and wept over it.
Yes, Mary’s soul did get whapped when her Son’s blood didn’t just spill but splattered before and then on that cross. Mary also felt the pain for a people who just didn’t get it.
A double whammy.
Jesus’ death didn’t just crush Mary. Indifference to salvation crushed her, too.
PRAYER: Lord of death to eternal life, hear us as we cry with Your Mom for those who turned away from Your work of love filled with hope. We still hold hope for all people to hear and respond to You. This won’t change—this will NOT change—no matter how many pings and pangs our souls experience. Amen.
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