Christ is the altar of our faith. He is the feast that sustains us and infuses our life and being with delight and joy, nurture and nourishment and strength (Hebrews 13:10-11). He is the living bread, unlike any bread prepared here on earth. More heavenly than the most buttery croissant, more delectable than the sweetest challah, more rich in sustenance than the most rustic grain loaf, Jesus provides life everlasting, joys unimaginable, strength for the ages.
Share this feast. Read the evangel with someone this year. Bring the testimony of the kingdom to someone who is hungry.
Simeon believed. He didn’t merely exist, letting the days go by unmarked, unmindful of greater things being done in the heavens, oblivious to the work the Lord was doing to prepare the world for His coming—or even discounting the prophecies, and deciding God might not be as trustworthy as he supposed. He noted the times, and he believed the prophets who said no one is like God. No one could perceive how he works. He is beyond this time and space, and as such, he is the only One who can demand we trust him as he is.
With every whispered word of love by his mother Mary, every call to supper, every instruction in his father’s carpenter shop or the classroom of the rabbis, every shouted greeting in the marketplace, heaven’s victory over the grave was announced to all. “God with us!” “God with us!” “God with us!”
The true message of Christmas is about two invasions. One was necessary to cast out the usurper, the one who by pretense occupied God’s territory. For him and his followers, there is no peace for those who rebel to the end. The other invasion was necessary to pierce my stony heart.
The page’s very salvation that night depended upon the life-giving warmth from his master’s passage ahead of him. This is how it is with us, for “in Christ we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Our master, our elder brother, our captain does not merely mark the way for us; it is through following him that we are quickened and warmed and made more alive, eventually confirming our hope in resurrection and eternal glory (1 Corinthians 15:23). (a repost of an article that appeared at Servants of Grace)
A flood of images washed over me: of wives whose husbands would never come home again. Firefighters, police officers, emergency crews, medical technicians, and many brave, good men who weren’t trained to be heroes but who stepped up to the job. There were mothers who would give anything to have their sons or daughters arrive late or infrequently, just to have them walk through their doors again, and daughters and sons who wondered why daddy hadn’t come home, who would miss out on memories that my children were able to make.
We are none of us safe when we act against God.
In the city of God, we can find satisfaction, and in that satisfaction, glorify our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. Why would I scan the horizon or search the bottom of the sea for more? My purpose is defined only in this language of God. I am without meaning without him.
In time, we put away the implements or gadgets or devices; just like in time all of our things become obsolete, unnecessary, unfashionable. They get put away, or simply never get picked back up again as demand and desire pass them by. Rust or mold or worms complete the ruination. Such are the things of this world.
Darkness is pushed back as a spotlight flashes on. It’s over my head and I am in the middle of its sharply defined circle of light. I look down at my trembling frame, encased in rags and smudged with ash and dirt from the fire. I am not prepared to meet Him who “has roused himself from His holy dwelling.”
Surely I am doomed.