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Merry Christmas to family, friends, and other readers around the world! This is the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. There are so many reasons why we celebrate him, but let’s feast on just one of them.
In Luke 2:28-32 (NIV) we read: Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
Baby Jesus was presented at the Temple when he was 40 days, following the Jewish custom of the redemption of the first born. At the Temple they met an old prophet Simeon, who then offered the thanksgiving prayer above. In that prayer, Simeon refers to Jesus as “a light for revelation”.
What is the revelation Jesus has given the world? Is it how to bake bread or how to build rockets to fly us to space? What was it that the first followers of Jesus saw in him that they did not see anywhere else or in any other leader? Its simple really – they saw selfless abundant love for people! They saw ‘God is love’ and they were first shocked, and then transformed.
Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery, and how Jesus said let the one who has no sin throw the first stone (John 8:1-11). We read that and we often miss the power of the moment; please read it again, go back to that time, place yourself in that crowd, feel the tension, the danger, violent trouble was about to happen, breaking news; Jesus first wrote in the sand, I bet it was advanced mathematics, then he gave his answer, and the super storm died down; a woman was saved that day, and countless numbers of women have been saved by this passage, by the light Jesus revealed to the world – glory be to God in the highest, Alleluya!
May the light of Jesus shine on you and turn your life around; may his light in you grow and grow and make you a super spreader of his love; may his light make your day merry and bright, not just for today, but for everyday in the new year, Amen!