"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Simeon and Anna
Luke 2:21-38 Commentary
by Ruth Anne Reese
The baby is named and circumcised -- a rite that marks Jesus as Jewish, as part of the people that God has called. Circumcision is the sign of the covenant relationship that God established first with Abraham (Genesis 17) and then with his descendants, the people of Israel. Jesus is firmly located within the people with whom God has kept covenant for hundreds of years. In Luke 2:21 we also have the fulfillment of the angel’s instruction in 1:31 to name the baby “Jesus,” a name that means “God saves.”
Forty days after his birth, Jesus’ parents take him to the temple in Jerusalem. Leviticus 12:1-8 lays out the instructions for a woman who has given birth. After 40 days she is to come to the temple with a sacrifice. Those who could not afford to bring a lamb could bring two turtledoves or pigeons, as Mary and Joseph do. Mary and Joseph are faithful Jews who are careful to do everything that the Law requires.
In what is almost an aside, Luke 2:23 explains ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 062: Simeon and Anna
December 30, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Mary Shore, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's readings are: Luke 2:21-38 and Psalm 131 or 131:3.