Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2.25-35)
It’s that time of year again, like it or not, when the attention of our world is drawn to the coming of God to us, in the form of a baby in a stable in Bethlehem. Too often though, this historical event takes on a kind of fairy tale quality during this season. More of a ?“once upon a time” feel, rather than the actual event that it was. But it really did happen. It’s not a mere legend or conspiracy, it’s truth, historical truth. If you have any reason to believe anything ever happened in history, by those same standards, you have every reason to believe that God actually visited us on this planet in the person of Jesus Christ.
And once one surrenders to this mighty truth, something strange and miraculous transpires in a person’s heart. Follow closely. Once we accept the truth that Jesus really is who He claimed to be, the person we find in Jesus makes us reassess everything we have ever believed or been told about God. Jesus is not only deeply kind, and wise, and sensitive with a quiet resolute, purposeful strength. He is radically other-centered, a servant, looking out for everyone else even when at expense to Himself. He is a giver. He is truly defined by a self-sacrificial quality, that gives even love itself a new definition The life of this man named Jesus climaxed in Him giving His life as a ransom for every person in this world. Without getting into the complexity of this, simply stop and let the reality of it sink in. Every person on this planet has been ransomed and redeemed. And although God will not force anyone to accept this gift, it is an accomplished fact nonetheless, and is ours, each of ours, for the taking.
But what this really accomplishes in our hearts in truly miraculous. You see, the radical, self-sacrificial, other-centered love we find in the person of Jesus, takes on completely new meaning when one realizes that who we are seeing in this person named Jesus, is the God of the universe, incarnate. This is God Himself come to us in human form. Jesus in not just what God is like. No no. Jesus IS GOD, come to us so we can see Him for what He truly is. This is exactly what Simeon told us this baby in Bethlehem would be: a “light of revelation” revealing the “thoughts of many hearts”, including the heart of God Himself. A divine heart, if you will, wrapped in human flesh, so we can see, not just what He is like, but specifically what exactly is in His heart for us, dear reader.
Meditate on this great truth during this holiday season. Let it’s transforming power go deep. Let the love found in the person of Jesus, the love that is there for YOU, in the heart of God for YOU, bring healing and life transforming change from the inside out. Let it do it’s work, it will, our job is simply to listen to it, and when it speaks, to believe. You truly are precious in His sight. He loves you, regardless of what the voices in your head tell you, more than you could possibly ever know.
May His kingdom of love be more deeply established in each of our hearts this Christmas season.
We at Renewed Heart Ministries wish you a happy Holiday.