A small room. A few women. Some of their kids. Add a small assortment of Eichers.
Tuesday night study of the life of Jesus Christ. We are unpacking the Lukan account.
We were in Shanti's home. We have started this study on Tuesday evenings. An hour. 7 to 8 pm.
Last week - after our first meet - one of Shanti's neighbours asked her why she had not been invited. The neighbour lady came today - along with her sister. After the study she asked for prayer. She has been married for 20 years without a child. She is almost 40 years old now. She works by going to homes and looking after small children and giving massages to new mothers. We prayed with her.
In sharing the snippet about Jesus' life this evening I was struck by the insights of two old people - Simeon and Anna.
Simeon - who had been told that he would not die before he saw the Messiah - was moved by the spirit to come to the temple on the day a Gallelian carpenter and his wife brought their son to the temple. They must have presented a pitiful sight - though of royal blood - now reduced to offering pigeons instead of a lamb.
But Simeon saw far past the surface and took the child in his arms and shouted out that he could now rest in peace. He had seen the saviour.
What did Simeon see? A month-old baby, held by a young girl and her rustic husband?
Simeon's spiritual eyes were open. They saw something far deeper. They recognised that the maker of the universe was confined to the helplessness of this babe. Simeon registered that the child he now held in his arms - would one day be his redeemer.
Do we have spiritual eyes that are open? Or are we keeping them tightly shut? Tightly status-quo-don't-disturb-me-I-am-fine-thank-you?
And then we have the person of Anna - this 84 year old widow - who spent all her widowhood it seems in the temple in Jerusalem. Instead of the pall of mourning - or the wiff of self-pity - you get the sense of Anna's eagerness and yearning for the Messiah. You can almost feel how connected she is with others who are seeking - because when she sees Jesus she tells everyone about him.
Are we seeking? Are we looking? One of the promises Jesus gives is that He will be found by those who genuinely seek Him.
All this in a tiny room, with 3 ladies, 2 teen girls and a gaggle of kids - learning about Jesus.
The beauty of the word is that it illuminates the living Word. Our contexts are simple. Our lives can be complex. But He reveals Himself through His life that we read together.
Next Tuesday. 7-8 PM. In a small window-less room in Manpada. The next slice of Jesus' life. Glimpses.