It was a broadcast after Christmas when someone was saying that, oddly enough, Christmas is not just "for the children." The Christmas story is in a way bracketed, by Zechariah at the beginning, and Simeon at the end. Zechariah and his wife were too old to have children, so they were promised cousin John, the baptizer. Simeon said in the Temple when he saw the baby Jesus that he was now ready to die, so presumably he was old, and Anna was 84. Even Joseph is assumed to be old, at least from Mary's point of view, and often pictured as an older man, even a widower. So there are pictures of the elderly, as well as the youth of Mary and the new-born Jesus, in the Christmas stories. February 2nd marks the last piece of the Christmas story in the Temple.
- It's a story about a man, but a woman, too
for in God's well balanced plan, there's gender equality -
- Anna and Simeon were waiting for hope fulfilled
for the Christmas story also includes the elderly.
- Candles can celebrate the light of Christ the child
we carry a candle lit for the people of our world
- to remember this Temple meeting of old and young
the light of promise now, but a sword to come.
- Forty days after a birth, Mary was cleansed
obedient to Jewish law, though already pure.
- With smaller duties completed, illuminate my hope
and through my daily meetings, purify my life.