And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus . . . he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation.” LUKE 2:25–30
Birthdays are a time of celebration. Yet if it were not for the birthday of our King, what would every other birthday mean? It could only mean that we are one year nearer death and judgment. Because of Christmas, we can live the abundant life of anticipation and expectation.
Today’s Scripture tells of Simeon, a name that means “listening one.” Simeon was anticipating the first coming of Jesus. The Christ of Christmas is coming again. As Simeon prepared for His first coming, we should prepare for His glorious Second Coming. Many devout men of God believe that Christ again is at the door. Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus to the temple. Simeon took that little baby in his arms, held Him close to his heart, and I imagine him declaring, “Now I am ready to die. I am completely satisfied. My heart is at rest.” Simeon proclaimed some things about Jesus that need to be proclaimed clearly today.
He is the Christ of deliverance. “My eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:30). No one really is ready for Christmas, much less His Second Coming, unless they have received this glorious salvation.
He is the Christ of delight. He is “a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32). There is now no need to stumble in darkness when we can walk in the glorious light of Christmas.
He is the Christ of derision. Christ is “a sign which will be spoken against” (Luke 2:34). Not all will love Jesus. He is called mad, devil possessed, a winebibber and glutton, a blasphemer. If the gospel is not spoken against, it is not the Bible gospel that is being presented.
He is the Christ of division. “A sword will pierce through your own soul also” (Luke 2:35). Jesus sends a sword that divides. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). He brings a new nature that conflicts with our old nature.
He is the Christ of destiny. “This child is destined for the fall and rising of many” (Luke 2:34). Jesus is a stone of stumbling or a sure foundation upon which we build. In the Christ Who came, we are ready for the Christ Who is coming again. We have expectant life.
Let family members tell the dates of their personal birthdays, and then testify of their spiritual birthday. Make a birthday cake or cupcakes and let the children light a candle and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.
Take advantage of the related activities and resources at ExperienceChristmas.org.