A Joyous Day

by Danika Cooley, based on Luke 2:21-40

Mary wrapped her baby boy tightly and cradled Him in her arms.

“I’m ready to go.” Mary smiled at Joseph.

Today was the big day. Mary and Joseph would take their baby to the temple to dedicate Him to the Lord.

Across Jerusalem, Simeon’s neighbor called to him, “Where are you going this morning, Simeon?”

“To the temple to see God’s promised gift!” Simeon said.

In the temple, gray-haired Anna worshiped God. “Praise be to the Lord God of Israel, who loves His people!” she sang.

Mary and Joseph smiled as they brought baby Jesus into the temple.

Simeon stepped forward and took the 1-month-old Jesus in his arms. Simeon praised God and said, “Lord, You are the King over all.”

Simeon had waited his whole life to see the Messiah. Now he looked at baby Jesus and prayed to God, “My eyes have seen Your salvation. You have prepared it in the sight of all people.”

Mary and Joseph looked at their baby and then at each other with wide eyes. What great things would Jesus do with His life?

Just then, Anna hurried over to see Jesus. Her heart filled with joy at the sight of the special baby who would rescue God’s people. Anna praised God and told everyone around her about Jesus.

Mary held Jesus close. “What a baby we have,” she said to Joseph.

Joseph nodded. “He is the reason to celebrate.”

Welcoming Jesus
When Simeon and Anna saw Jesus, they praised God. Do you know why God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth?

God made people to know and love Him. But sin, the bad things we do, keeps us away from God. That’s why God sent Jesus to die for our sins—so we can be close to our loving God. If you would like to be God’s child, you can pray the following prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I know I do bad things, and I’m a sinner. I believe You died so I could be forgiven of my sins. Please come into my life. Thank You for loving me and for making me God’s child. Amen.”

If you decide to pray that prayer for the first time, tell us about it. We want to celebrate with you!

This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. magazine. Copyright © 2013 by Danika Cooley. Illustration © Ian Joven.