Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Hopes and Fears Of All The Years

Lettering by @rach_forsyth

Read: Luke 2: 25-35 The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.

This passage is extraordinary.

Simeon is a devout man who has been waiting for the “consolation of Israel.” He’s aware of the hardness of life and the lostness of his nation. On this day he came into the temple, and when Jesus was brought in he declared to God: “my eyes have seen your salvation!”

But Simeon isn’t holding a set of laws in his hands. He’s not holding the Ten Commandments, or a to-do list, or a doctrine, or a manifesto, or a philosophy or a state of soul.

He’s holding Jesus.

He’s holding Jesus and he’s saying to the LORD: “my eyes have seen your salvation!”

Hallelujah! The good news of Christmas is not that God has given us a very specific, very demanding set of laws we ought to complete in order to be good enough to make it on to his cosmic “Nice List.”

Hallelujah, as it has been poetically pointed out here, God is not like Santa Clause.

Simeon is able to hold the salvation of God in his arms and say- this is the way Israel will be comforted; this is the way Gentiles will see the reality of who God is; this is the way the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.

The salvation of God is Jesus. He is a person.

He is a person who, even as He is in the temple being presented to the Lord, is living a life that will bring righteousness to many.

The consolation of Israel, and of the nations is Jesus.

The solution to our sadness, sin, darkness and suffering is not a doctrine, or a a to-do list, or a philosophy or a state of mind because each of these things- and all of them together are patently inadequate for the problems they aim to solve.

The solution to our sadness, sin, darkness and suffering is not simple, because these things are not simple.

But this does not mean there is not solution.

Simeon held Jesus in his arms, and saw the salvation of God: a person.

And not just a person, but the Ultimate Person. Not just a bringer of peace, the Prince of Peace. And not just complex, but an admirable conjunction of diverse excellencies.

He is the Lion, and the Lamb. He is the Treasure of Heaven, who for our sake became poor. He is the Creator of Life who laid down His life.  

He is the humble King born in a manger, who grew up to boldly declare: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life! No one comes to the Father, except through me.” (John 14: 6)  

He is the salvation of the Lord.

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