"A Sword will pierce through your own soul"
This phrase is found in Luke's account of the Christmas story. The man Simeon says this to Mary.
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
(Luke 2:34-35 ESV)
Oddly enough this righteous man was waiting for the consolation of Israel and now seeing the Lord's Christ welcomed his own death. Simeon could now depart in peace. Death will come to each of us, but when dead takes someone from us, the pain is great. Where do we find comfort? The only comfort for me is in believing that God is good and God is sovereign. The sovereignty of God is something that I am just beginning to understand and I imagine that by the end of my own life, there will still be much mystery gone unsolved.
As a new mother Mary was warned of the coming heartache. Every mother will or has experienced the heart breaking at the news of their own child's suffering. My thoughts and prayers have gone out to a friend of mine who's 19 year old son died this week over and over again. Having our three children home together is all the more precious in light of this tragic news. We do not know the hour or the day that anyone of us will die. Even when we are given the word and we watch someone die it does not lessen the pain.
The joy of the season is in the shadow of the Cross and for many it is a very tough time and can be agonizing especially for people like my dear friend who is weighed down with grief and great sorrow. My heart and tears go out to her.
The greatest gifts this Christmas was showing up for life and being with other people, sharing the love of Christ, being in the fellowship of other believers, and remembering that Jesus Christ came humbly as a baby with his destination already in place in order to die that we might live.