Lesson Twenty Nine


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Memory Verse: Luke 2:14
Further Study: Luke 2:1-38; Desire of Ages, 43-58; The Bible Story, vol. 7, pp. 31-46

The birth of my first grandchild was memorable, but not for reasons you might think. My husband and I immediately left our home to travel to a neighboring state when we heard our daughter’s labor had begun. We wanted to be there when the news was announced that the baby had arrived. Sleep evaded us as we anticipated the call. When it came, it was not what we expected, but an urgent request to get to the hospital immediately. No details. Just come. 

Get to the hospital immediately. No details. Just come. 

As you can imagine all kinds of scenarios ran through our mind as we quickly dressed and ran to the car. We then ran from the car to the hospital door and from the lobby to the labor and delivery unit. There they put us in a small room to wait with no information—the longest 15 minutes of our lives.

Becoming a parent changes your perspective. This is not a slight against those who are not parents. It’s simply a reality. When a newborn baby is placed in your arms there is a feeling of relief, pride, and wonder. But as Christians, it isn’t long before we realize our responsibility. Certainly, we need to feed, clothe, and care for their needs, but we also are mindful of their salvation.

Eventually, we encounter our child’s sinful nature. Temper tantrums, selfish desires, and disobedience are demonstrated in unexpected ways from a young age. We yearn to protect our children from the temptations of life, wishing to shield them from all that Satan may do to ensnare them. Our prayers go up daily for God to safeguard our child.

Our prayers go up daily for God to safeguard our child. 

Now think of the birth of Jesus. We tell the story of stables, shepherds, and angels, but do we consider heaven’s point of view? Imagine God sending His Son to this earth, understanding He will be fully exposed to sin, but recognizing Satan would target Jesus specifically. God made the choice knowing how it would end. His cherished Son would be killed by His own creation. Why? “God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones” (The Desire of Ages, p. 49). 

The nurse took us to our daughter’s room. We walked in to see our son-in-law cradling our grandson. The birth had not gone well; our beloved child was in ICU. As I watched her through the night, her husband resting his head on her bed, concern and relief flooded my soul. I knew God knew what it was like to watch His child assailed by the evils of this world. I knew all heaven watched with me.

A day later, her son was placed in her arms. She would now experience what I did when she was placed in my arms. Parenting is not easy, but it draws us closer to Him who gave His Son so we, one day, will be renewed.

Digging Deeper 

Simeon and Anna, who meet Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus in the temple, are important to the story. Interestingly there are two of them, which may not seem significant at first, but in Judaism it is essential.

Jewish law required two witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:35) to verify. Remember when Jesus was accused before going to the cross, the priests had to find two witnesses to convict Him, and it was only through deceit they managed to accomplish it. But here God provides two very creditable witnesses.

Simeon is a man who’s been told by God he would see the Messiah before he died. Oh, to have the insight of a Simeon to look for God’s promises in unexpected ways! God fulfills His promise but through a newborn and not the fully declared visible adult Messiah.

Anna is a prophetess, who depending on how you read the text, may be more than 100 years of age. Together they represent both men and women who rejoice in discovering salvation through Jesus.

Also notice that all the witnesses to the birth story of Jesus (with the exception of Mary and some shepherds) are older and along in years. In the world in which Jesus arrived, older men and women held places of honor, distinction, and respect again bringing integrity to His unusual birth story.

Making it Real

If you are reading this devotional series along with the children’s lessons, you are reading this in July, Certainly an unusual time to be reading and studying the Christmas story. Why not have Christmas in July? But in this case, not for yourselves, but to celebrate others. Jesus’ birth story focuses on many who not only helped it to happen but spread the word. This week:

  1. Make some cards to send greetings to five individuals. Your cards should in some way spread the good news of Jesus and His salvation. If you have children, help them to make them and talk about the kind of message they could write.
  2. Invite an older person (or more than one) to lunch, dinner, or on Sabbath. Let them represent Simeon and Anna. Enjoy their company, learn their story, and ask them what Jesus means to them.
  3. Think of other ways you might celebrate the Christmas story when it isn’t really Christmas.


Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being a grandmother to two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus, and a granddaughter, born in 2023. She is blessed to have all three living close by, continually bringing joy and delight.


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