Saturday, December 22, 2012

But the rejection will force honesty...

Luke 2:25-35

The Message (MSG)
25-32 In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:
God, you can now release your servant;
    release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
    it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
    and of glory for your people Israel.
33-35 Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother,
This child marks both the failure and
    the recovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood and contradicted—
    the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty,
    as God reveals who they really are.

Jesus' birth brings with it contradiction.  Pain will bring honesty, sorrow will bring joy, rejection will bring love and acceptance, poverty will bring the Kingdom of God, death will bring LIFE!  Often in my life things have happened that seem to be negative, hurtful, painful.  Yet, so often, as I travel through the pain, learn from it, make it my own experience, it is then that the gift of life is given.  It is then that the phoenix rises out of the ashes.  It is then that the power of the Risen Christ is revealed.  Jesus' earthly life ends in crucifixion - but that is not the whole story, is it?  His resurrection is the REAL story, who HE REALLY IS!  Jesus, you are my life, my joy, my reason for living!  Thank you for the assurance of everlasting life in YOU!