Sunday, December 21, 2014
Christmas Letter to Simeon
Christmas Letter to Simeon
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
…for my eyes have seen Your salvation.”
The Bible says you were “righteous and devout.”
While I’ve often been ignorant about what the Bible says and too often been rebellious against what it prescribes for me, I’ve never disputed its accuracy in delivering what’s on God’s mind. I take Him at His explained as well as enfleshed Word.
So I’m believing you were praying and trying your best to be right and tight with God.
God knows we know like you knew that doesn’t make us immune to doubts, temptations, or anxieties; though God has made it clear in His explained and enfleshed Word that the righter and tighter we get with Him, the less control those emotions have over us.
That’s why we can understand you were still “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” You knew you didn’t know it/Him all; and you were getting righter and tighter with Him because you wanted to know more.
Surely, like those anticipating His first advent and those anticipating the next one, you knew things would become clearer, more compelling, and comforting once He showed up with skin on.
My guess is you were waiting for Him to show up so you could live then die with calm assurance that He will be taking care of you and everyone else from here to eternity.
Like me and everybody else, you wanted/needed Someone out of this world to prove you/me/everyone doesn’t expire or die like in forever never living again or turn into worm food at our best or…gulp…sigh…cease to exist in any way and vanish from being.
It’s the most terrifying thought of life – thinking there is no more life of any kind after this one’s done.
Without knowing something happens beyond the last breath is awfully disconcerting…depressing…devastating…paralyzing.
God knows we know like you knew this life doesn’t last forever.
That’s why you didn’t want to die before meeting the only One who could convince you that there’s more to life than what’s spent in human form with its built-in obsolescence.
Fortunately for you, me, and everybody else, God’s Holy Spirit revealed you would not die before seeing Him; and you were “guided” by the Holy Spirit into the temple where Mary and Joseph brought in baby Jesus to do what they were supposed to do for Him according to tradition.
From what I’ve been able to find out, Mary and Joseph were doing their religious thing; meaning they’d already circumcised Jesus because the deal with Abraham was boys had to be marked off eight days after birth to show they belonged to God kinda like we do in baptism and then the mother was supposed to go to the temple for a ritual cleansing that I’ve never really understood just like some of the other things that religious people do that make no sense to me and so many others because they’re only coincidental to Jesus by the book.
I don’t know all of the details; and I’ve always thought you can’t build faith on broken pickle jars anyway.
Besides, getting hung up on the details is like missing the forest for the trees.
It wasn’t remotely about what they did.
It was and remains about who He is.
It’s about moving from a religion about Jesus to a relationship with Him.
Guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit, you got it/Him as soon as you saw and embraced Him: “Now I can die! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord! I have seen Your salvation!”
Once you saw or grasped who He was/remains as the Christ aka Messiah or the deliverer from here to eternity, you lost any fear of death; rejoicing in the ultimate truth of trusting God that the worst thing that can happen to us in time is the best thing that can happen to us forever.
Or as He said later on, we will end up with Him in paradise.
That’s why one messenger of this greatest news of all time and beyond said, “Anyone who feels sorry of a dead Christians, as though the poor chap were missing something, is himself missing the transfiguring promotion involved.”
It’s like my grandfather Hayden said while dying in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania when I called from Kansas City and said I would catch a plane to be by his side as he headed for heaven, “That’s not necessary. When I die, you’ll preside at the memorial service. Then I’ll see you later!”
Because I’ve been going to homes, hospitals, and nursing facilities for years to visit and pray with folks about to meet our Maker, I’ve seen the difference that knowing Jesus can make for that transition.
I’ve seen the terror on the faces of pathetic people who don’t really know Him; as they dread there will be nothing more for them after the last breath in time.
That’s one of the reasons why I tell as many people as I can about Jesus; so they don’t fear that last breath but rather embrace it as only a nano-second just before entering the pure and perfect place of personal peace with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
People who know Jesus want to sing during the transfer, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future.”
People who know Jesus are just like you about it/Him: “Now I can die! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord! I have seen Your salvation!”
That’s what Jesus does for us.
That’s who He is – Lord and Savior.
Just like the difference that He made in your life, He makes all the difference in and beyond the world for anyone who gets it/Him.
Part of the Family
Blessings and Love!