We sometimes walk right by Christ and do not notice Him. Then there are the people from today’s Gospel story who keep a vigilant watch for Him and suddenly their waiting is over. They are guided by the Holy Spirit to find the Christ on the day He is presented in the temple. Instantly all those years of promise, of never leaving the temple, of longing are fulfilled. Christ has arrived. What must that have been like to finally realize that the dream of seeing their Saviour face to face was coming true?
In this moment was there a refiner’s fire that purified them and moved them to praise and prophecy? When they recognized the King of Glory as the Psalmist sings were they lifted up? The long awaited One came as one of us and was recognized. Daily we are asked to watch, to recognize Christ in those among us. Is Jesus disguised in the beggar on the street corner in this frigid cold winter? Is that Him in the prison chapel? Is it Christ feeling tired and overwhelmed with the colicky baby? Was that hug from the Son of God? Did the Stranger who paid it forward seem familiar? That kindly looking teenager speaking with the senior citizen in the personal care home had this air about her. Do we see with eyes that help us to recognize that Christ walks among us even now? Can we be dismissed in peace because we know on a level that we cannot explain that we have seen the Salvation upon which we wait?
This child recognized by its expectant elders asks us to keep watch, to look for the Messiah in unusual places. Where have you spotted Christ lately? What did it move you to do?