All is revealed!
Revelations make big news. The uncovering of something that has not been heard or seen before, hooks our interest. We’re more interested in what is novel.
As we rush into a new year, will the message of Christmas be packed up and put in the loft with the tinsel? What have we made of Jesus? Is his birth just familiar news, or is it something truly novel that has hooked our interest?
Unlike Winnie the Pooh or Peter Pan, the story of Jesus is true. In Luke’s Gospel we are given eyewitness accounts to help us grasp the significance of Jesus’ arrival. Luke records an encounter between the youngest and the oldest: the eight-day-old Jesus and the eighty year olds called Simeon and Anna (actually, we don’t know Simeon’s age). Both were upright and devout believers who spent a lot of time in and around the Temple.
Joseph and Mary named their baby boy ‘Jesus’ and took him to be circumcised (the sign of the covenant). At the Temple in Jerusalem they made an offering of ‘a pair of doves or two young pigeons’ (Luke 2v24). This slightly cheaper offering was a concession for poorer people.
Simeon had patiently looked forward to the coming Messiah. The Holy Spirit had revealed that ‘he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ’ (2v26). When Simeon saw the parents with Jesus he took the boy in his arms and just knew what a privileged encounter it was. He was now ready to die because he had seen salvation. The child would be: ‘a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel’ (Luke 2v32). He said the child would cause the falling and rising of many, because through him: ‘the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed’ (Luke 2v35). Anna was also looking forward to the arrival of the Messiah and so also she spoke about God’s plan of rescue from sin and death being enacted through this child.
This is news indeed! It is not the end of the story, but the beginning. Will you take things further and explore the implications of Jesus, who came to save us from our sins? It is through his coming that we can be part of God’s story, because it is HIStory!
A very Happy New Year to all our readers.
Magazine January 2016