Monday, December 22, 2008

The Gift- Get It?

This time of year as we're waiting in expectancy to celebrate the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ I often wonder why so many people through the generations and today haven't made the connection that the Christ child is the Son of God, promised through the Old Testament, born to a virgin, crucified on the cross to save us from our sin, rose from the dead on the third day and now sits at the right hand of God awaiting his Bride.
In our humanness that seems like a lot to believe. But to the Christian this is the foundation of our faith.
Our pastor preached on Luke 2:25-32 this weekend. We focused on Simeon. I don't remember too many sermons on Simeon, but hearing about him puts some pieces of my puzzle together.
Simeon waited on the Lord. I personally don't excel in the art of waiting. I pray for patience and God gives me more opportunities to wait. Waiting just doesn't come naturally for many of us. We want life to fall into place rapidly. We want answers quickly. We want God to act on our time frame rather than seeing that He has a time frame that was figured out before there was time. Isn't that something?
It's been recommended that I take a moment each day and sit and do "nothing". That sounds like waiting to me. I've already established that waiting doesn't come naturally, but it's in those quiet moments of doing nothing where I may find my opportunity to wait on the Lord. I can imagine there are many things I miss through my busyness. I'm such a work in progress. I checked Webster for the definition of "wait" and found, "to stay in place or remain in readiness or in anticipation." Waiting may not be doing nothing, but preparing or remaining ready in anticipation for something. That's interesting! I like that.
In waiting we realize our timing is not God's timing. We want people to "Get It" on our time. We sense the urgency of salvation for our friends and/or family, but God's timing is perfect. There's a quote I've heard often that is, "You never know God is all you need, until He's all you got." God's people will "Get It" when they realize there's no where else to turn.
Israel waited for over 400 years between the Old and New Testaments. I'm sure something was happening, but there's nothing recorded in the Bible. I bet many people began to lose hope. Without hope what do we have?
The second thing that stuck out to me was that the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. He was moved by the Spirit. It's the Holy Spirit who moves people. Isn't that awesome! For many people that may lift a huge burden. It's our responsibility as Christians to glorify God. We reflect His Glory. The Holy Spirit moves the heart of man to make the commitment to follow Christ. The Bible reads in Luke 2:28-32 that Simeon found salvation in the revelation of Jesus Messiah. It was revealed to Simeon. I looked up the definition of revelation. Webster defines it as, "something disclosed, especially when it comes as a great surprise." Wow! A great surprise! What could be more surprising than God incarnate coming to earth taking on human form as a baby!
I think of the countless doctors who at the delivery of a baby say, "Surprise, it's a boy!" or "Surprise it's a girl!" Imagine God saying, "Surprise, it's a boy, and he's my son!" What a gift we have been given! It's the gift of a perfect baby who grew to become our perfect Savior. And his gift of salvation is nothing we have earned but freely given for you and me this Christmas.
I hope you expect something great this Christmas. I hope you don't miss what this Christmas is all about. It's about you waiting and receiving the greatest gift ever given.
Merry Christmas!

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