During this time of year my mind always does a little of wandering as I see the malls and stores filled to capacity with people rushing to get the latest and greatest deal, and I wonder if people really do realize what this special day is all about! I see people with their arms full of items who may never darken the door of a church at any time during the year, but still knowingly or unknowingly celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. For myself, I can’t imagine Christmas without Christ.
There is a wonderful story in the Bible of a man named Simeon who was finally able to see the fulfillment of prophecy and expressed his appreciation and gratefulness to God. From the Gospel according to Luke (2:28-32) we read, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
Many had prophesied for hundreds of years that a Messiah would be born which would bring help and deliverance to God’s people, and Simeon was walking in the Spirit enough to realize when He was in the presence of this Newborn King. There were no doubt many babies going through the doors of the temple that day, but there was something about this child that was different than any other baby. There was something different about these parents that set them apart from the others, and Simeon was able to recognize Hope that had made the Journey from the glories of Heaven to be born in a lowly stable.
I cannot even begin to imagine with my finite and limited mind the monumental leap Jesus took to come to earth. Yet, if my heart, and yours, is open to the leading of the Spirit, then we will recognize Hope when it is made available in our lives. In Christ “hope came down” to dwell among us, and continues to do so by the power of the Holy Spirit!
I’m sure glad Hope came down!