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Every year about this time, I write a Christmas devotional. I open my Bible to find something original or some aspect of the Christmas story that Iíve not seen before to share with the people I care about. However, each year that I write one, finding something that stretches my imagination gets more difficult. This year is no exception. In fact, this year I didnít find anything, at least nothing that hadnít been written or spoken in a sermon somewhere. I suppose if I was feeling a bit lazy I could have written something about how God descended from Heaven to deliver us salvation, or how God used ordinary, every day people to announce the coming of the Christ child. I suppose I could have written about how, in almost every way, except the angels appearing to certain groups of people, the evening that the Christ child was born was a pretty ordinary night. However, as Iíve said, itís been done before. So then why am I still writing? Because, as I read on I found something after what we consider to be the original Christmas story that absolutely took my breath away. The story takes place in Luke 2:21-38. Although this passage has a huge amount of information in it, Iím only going to focus on a few of the verses in the passage.
Let me introduce you to Simeon. The Bible doesnít have a lot to say about him, however there is enough there to catch my interest. What do we know? That Simeon is older, he is a religious man, he is from Jerusalem, can speak prophecy and was told by the Holy Spirit he wasnít going to die until he saw the baby Jesus. WAIT! STOP! Imagine, if you can, minding your own business one day and either hearing a voice or feeling a nudging from God that said ďIím not letting you die until you see my son.Ē What would your first reaction be? Mine would be to ask when. Iíd want to know how long I had before I was going to see the Lordís son. When was He going to be born? Would it be tomorrow? Would it be fifty years from now? Would I have time to say goodbye to my loved ones? My second reaction would be ďIíM GOING TO SEE JESUS!!!Ē The Bible doesnít say how long Simeon had to wait to see Jesus, but the Bible also points out that Simeon reminded God of his promise by saying ďSovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.Ē Although I canít say with any real certainty that Simeon had to wait a long time to die, I wonder if there is a sense of relief in meeting Jesus. Of course, as I read this passage Iím confronted with another realityÖit must be almost peaceful to live a life dedicated to only one thing and one moment in time. How nice it must feel to reach the moment in life you were meant for!
It might sound a little strange to say but this scene reminds me of the movie City Slickers. City Slickers is about a bunch of middle aged men that go on a ďdude ranchĒ adventure to find themselves and discover the true meaning of happiness. In one scene, the main character, Mitch, played by Billy Crystal, asks Curly, played by Jack Palance, what the true meaning of happiness is. Curly, in his infinite wisdom holds up one finger and tells Mitch that the secret of happiness lies in one thing. When Mitch asks what that one thing is, Curly tells him that he must discover that for himself.
As I sit here Iím confronted with the reality that Jesus was Simeonís one thing, his secret to peace. Iím also confronted with the question of whether or not Jesus is my one thing. As you go through this Christmas season, itís going to be easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. With the hustle and bustle of Christmas, it will be easy to forget that everything hinges on one moment in time. The scriptures say that everything hinges on a baby boy being born in a stable to take away the sins of not only the Jewish people but the world. As you finish reading this today, ask yourself, have you found your one thing? Have you come to one singular moment in time that defines you in every way? If not, thereís a story of a baby named Jesus that calls to you and asks you to be your one moment in time.
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