“And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:35b NIV). The shadow of the cross was real even during the first Christmas. Simeon saw it. He told Mary about it.
Simeon also told that Jesus will be a sign that is spoken against. How true it is today!
Why did he specifically give this message to Mary? Did he foresee Mary standing at the foot of the cross watch her son bleed on the cross? We do not know for sure.
But the message was for Mary. Was it to help her be prepared for the death of Jesus on the cross? What else could it be? For no one usually tells a mother with her new born child that a sword is going to pierce her soul.
Yes, the shadow of the cross loomed large during the first Christmas. Let us therefore not detach our Christmas celebrations from the cross. When we detach it we are comfortable in the festivities. But if we see the shadow of the cross during Christmas, we will be better prepared to stand at the foot of it.