Are we willing to invest in knowing The Messiah?
Can we know the Messiah, the Christ Child, God in man, before we see Him?
We find ourselves in the season of rushing, when time bullies and bosses us around. Our to-do list is longer than Santa’s. We long for quiet and time to just be. Time to contemplate, sit by the lights, and ponder the Christ Child. I wonder if He were to come through my door would I know Him? Would I recognize Him? Would I even slow enough to take the time to open my door, let alone my heart?
As these thoughts churned through my heart I found myself in the Gospel of Luke. I love Luke, his penchant for detail, his style of writing, it stirs my soul. It was here in his writings the idea of an Upside Down Advent Series came to be. Not your typical, orderly Advent story, but Scriptures and happenings that poked and prodded me to examine my personal response to the Christ Child.
I begin with a man called Simeon. Let us look at the Scriptures and learn from Simeon.
“There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,
‘Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised. For my eyes have seen your salvation.'” Luke 2:25-30 (CSB)
Very little is known about Simeon, he walks on the scene and he walks off. His name means, “God has heard.”
Four hundred years have passed since Malachi closed with the prophecy of the promised Son of Righteousness. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Holy Spirit, Simeon enters the temple. When Mary and Joseph came in with their newborn son, Simeon takes him in his arms and praises God, saying:
“Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised. For my eyes have seen your salvation.”
Simeon knows immediately he has seen the Messiah. Wow! He doesn’t need a billboard, a bullet point sermon, or a burning bush. He knows. He just knows.
The question begs to be asked, would I know? Would I have trusted the Holy Spirit? Would I have been obedient and gone inside the temple? Would I have been satisfied with The Son of God, or would I, in my typical selfish self, wanted more?
I fear that is where we are in today’s society. Our want for more sends us passing by The Son of God. Our need for a burning bush causes us to miss Him in the everyday ordinary.
Simeon was poised, watching and waiting for the Christ child. We are busy and looking for other things.
Simeon was righteous and devout, careful as to how he handled God’s Word. We hide behind God, yet rarely do we open His Word and mine the treasure, which will point us to who He is.
Simeon knew The Messiah before he saw Him. He was devout and careful with God’s Word.
In this Season of Advent, I wonder, do we know The Christ Child well enough to recognize Him?
Would we let Him in?
Will we let Him in?
Gifts of Grace
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