Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

Today I want to share a brief story from Scripture. This is normally our Hall of Faith day, but today I want to share the faith of someone else not in the Hall.  Here is today's text:
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel." Luke 2:25-32 NKJV
We are much like Simeon today in that we live in hope for the Lord's return.  Christmas is often seen as a holiday celebrating the past.  We all have our traditions and memories that we cherish each Christmas. Those traditions are something even I look forward to every year. Even the holiday itself is a celebration of something that happened in the past, that being the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I think we need to be more like Simeon.  I am not saying we should not have our traditions, especially if they are truly centered on the commemoration the birth of our Lord.  What I am saying though, is that while looking back to the birth of Jesus is good, looking ahead to his return is even better. 

Simeon knew that he would not see death until he saw the Lord and spent his days looking forward to that day.  We have the promise that we will see Jesus as well.  We will see Him face to face as we enter into His glory for all eternity.  We may not have the promise that we will see him before we taste death, but we need the heart of Simeon to live as though we do have that promise.  If we live with the hope of His return, if we live with the hope that His return can even happen today, we will live with a faith and peace that nothing can ever shake.  I say that because what else in the world can matter if you believe Jesus is coming that very day. 

Keep your eyes on the future promise of His return.  His birth brought the promise of salvation into this world, but His return will bring us to that promise of eternity.  Praise God, in Christ we are heirs to that promise!
He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.  Revelation 22:20-21 NKJV

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