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Faith Lens

December 24-31, 2008 – My eyes have seen it

Warm-Up Question: What is the most significant historical thing you’ve witnessed in your lifetime?

It is amazing to think of all the ways that life has changed in the past 20 years, or 50 years, or 100 years. You’ve probably talked with grandparents or other older people about what life was like when they were your age. No computers, no cell phones, no cars, no TV, and maybe no telephones at all.

There are people who have witnessed major changes in society. From a time when women and African-Americans couldn’t vote to a year when this country elected an African-American man as President and very nearly elected a woman instead.

Recently, Edna Parker died at the age of 115 in Shelbyville, Indiana. She was documented at the time as the world’s oldest living person. Imagine what she saw. Imagine the events she witnessed. Imagine the changes in her way of life. The article points out that she and her husband were the first in their area to own an automobile!

Discussion Questions

  • What is the change or the event you wish you could have seen during Edna’s life (since 1893)?
  • If you could have spoken with Edna, what would you have wanted to ask her?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, December 28, 2008.
(Text links are to
oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year B at Lectionary Readings.

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.

Gospel Reflection

Today’s Gospel lesson tells us about two very elderly people who got to see Jesus when he was very young. Simeon and Anna were people of great faith who had been waiting a long time for God’s promises to be fulfilled. On the day when Jesus was brought to the temple for purification after his birth (according to the law of the time), Simeon and Anna were there. They saw the baby. They knew that all they had been waiting for was there in that little boy Jesus.

Luke records Simeon’s words which many of us sing at the end of each Sunday morning worship service: “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Simeon knew he could die at peace and at rest now because he had seen everything God had promised… all in this one little baby.

Discussion Questions

  • What do you think Mary and Joseph were thinking as Simeon and Anna went “ga-ga” over their new baby in this way?
  • What are the promises that you are waiting for God to fulfill?

Activity Suggestions

Plan a conversation time with some of the oldest members of your congregation. Ask them what life was like when they were teenagers. Ask them to tell your stories of their lives. Help them to write the stories down as memory books for their own family members.

Closing Prayer

Faithful God, we thank you for the fulfillment of all your promises. We thank you especially for Jesus, born of Mary, who came to be light for the world. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Contributed by Pastor Seth Moland-Kovash
All Saints Lutheran Church
Palatine, IL