Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Light of Revelation


Charles Swindoll offers this: Take the year 1809. The international scene was tumultuous. Napoleon was sweeping through Austria…nobody cared about babies then. But the world was overlooking some terribly significant births. For example, William Gladstone was born that year. He was destined to become one of England's finest statesmen. That same year, Alfred Tennyson was born to an obscure minister and his wife. The child would one day greatly affect the literary world in a marked manner. On the American continent, Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And not far away in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe began his eventful, albeit tragic, life. It was also in that same year that a physician named Darwin and his wife named their child Charles Robert. And that same year produced the cries of a newborn infant in a rugged log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. The baby's name? Abraham Lincoln. If there had been news broadcasts at that time, I'm certain these words would have been heard: "The destiny of the world is being shaped on an Austrian battlefield today." But history was actually being shaped in the cradles of England and America. Similarly, everyone thought taxation was the big news…when Jesus was born. But a young Jewish woman cradled the biggest news of all… the birth of the Savior.

It is amazing how history can be so different…changing all the time, and yet, remain the same in so many respects. We consider the cycle of life today…that the Savior was born in Bethlehem of Judea, approximately 1813 years before those mentioned above who would shape the history of the world. Jesus’ birth did indeed change the history of the world…and His was the most significant birth of all time. When Jesus is born, it is a time of rejoicing for a host of people. Some faithful Jews had been looking for Him…and He came, as prophesied. The wise men come from the East to pay tribute to the new born Lord and Savior; many others come to pay tribute as well…and among these are two senior saints at the temple (Luke 2:21ff). Simeon and Anna are part of the faithful Jewish remnant that had been eagerly looking for their Messiah...and it is a poignant moment when they are able to visit with the baby Jesus. In this visit, Simeon sees a great salvation in Christ going out to the Gentiles…Jesus is the light of revelation to all people! Anna is a godly senior widow, who devotes herself to serving God through worship…fasting and prayers. She comes up just as Simeon is praising the Lord for the baby Jesus, so she joins him in song. What we understand is that from the very beginning, Jesus’ life is about touching people with His life…and He still does so today.

Simeon’s Song by Michael Card is a cool video --

That Old Man in the Temple...Waiting in the court...Waiting for the answer to a promise
And all at once he sees them...In the morning sunshine...A couple come and carry in a baby

Now that I've held Him in my arms...My life can now come to an end
Let Your servant now depart in peace...Cause I've seen Your salvation
He's the Light of the Gentiles...And the glory of His people Israel

Mary and the baby come...And in her hand five shekels...The price to redeem her baby boy
The baby softly cooing...Nestled in her arms...Simeon takes the boy and starts to sing

Now's the time to take Him in your arms...Your life will never come to an end
He's the only way that you'll find peace...He'll give you salvation cause
He's the Light of the Gentiles...And the glory of His people Israel


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