CHRISTMAS! Just the sound of it brings a new sparkle to the eye and a quickened pace to the weary traveler. Suddenly the load is lighter, the spirit lifts, and a heavenly peace settles over the soul like a warm blanket.
Thank God for Christmas!
As at every Christmas past, we will rejoice with the angel choir as the Judean skies blaze with glory! We will journey with the shepherd boys who ran to Bethlehem to kneel with rapture and holy awe at the manger crib. We will ponder with Mary the many glorious words of prophecy that tumbled from the lips of Elisabeth, Zacharias, the angel Gabriel, Simeon, and Anna. We will finally fall in rapture before the Christ Child, again, to acknowledge Him as Lord and Master — oh yes — our eyes, too, have “seen thy salvation.”
But let us quicken our pace as we move on in this wonderful, timeless story.
Eight days after his birth, the baby Jesus is brought to the Temple for his presentation unto the Lord.
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and that same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25).
Just like Simeon we, too, are waiting for His coming. We, as they, have waited long — more than 2,000 years. Some have given up hope, others have turned away. There are those who don’t care and some do not want Him to come; they are content to live in spiritual poverty and darkness. But there are some — praise God — who, like Simeon, are waiting with great eagerness! “Perhaps today” is the watchword of the child of God.
Though demons rage and hell roars, our confidence is assured!
“For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Heb. 10:37).
Simeon did not give up. He did not get discouraged or afraid. The taunts of the crowd could not shake his faith. God’s Word said a Savior would come, so Simeon waited. The record shows that only two people in the Temple knew Jesus when He was presented: Simeon and Anna, the prophetess. The rest were blind. They missed the greatest event God’s Temple had ever witnessed: The coming of the Messiah! The same tragedy awaits many today as the world awaits His Second Coming — ah, don’t miss it!
“And unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9:28).
Yes, Simeon knew the Savior was coming. In fact, God had revealed it to him:
“And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26).
What a promise! “No wonder Simeon was waiting,” you say. But wait — we have the same promise. Jesus Himself said that there would be ONE generation that would see certain things such as Israel re-gathered, yes, once again a sovereign nation, as well as many more unique and unmistakable signs as detailed in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. There is no longer any doubt: The generation that sees all these signs, Jesus said, would not pass away till all things were fulfilled. Just as certain as Simeon held that precious gift from God in his arms and blessed Him, just so surely we will see Jesus’ Second Coming — glory be to God! So, with total confidence and unshakeable faith we, too, cry out with Simeon: “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation” (Luke 2:30).
One final parallel is seen as Anna, the aged prophetess, is led by the Spirit of God to witness the Christ Child’s first coming to His Temple. No, God did not forget the ladies! Anna had an equal part in proclaiming His coming. In fact, just like a lady, she was the first to tell!
“And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all of them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).
Thank God, someone told the Good News, yes, down through the centuries until it reached you and me! What a privilege! What joy! What reward awaits those who tell. Anna was the first to tell — we no doubt will be some of the LAST! Oh, what a privilege — Jan and I rejoice with you as 26 great networks, feeding 80 plus satellite channels, are telling the whole wide world!
So, shall we keep telling? Your answer will come with your Christmas love gift to, not a Christ Child, but to a glorified, resurrected victor! Yes, and how do we give a gift to Him? Read and rejoice:
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).
So Merry Christmas to all — and to all 40 years of our love!
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