Peace on Earth…Where?
As I sat down this week and began to prepare this year’s advent message on the peace that the Messiah would bring to the world and juxtapose that with the current situation of the world and let’s be honest, the constant state of war, injustice and evil the world has always seemed to be in, you must ask yourself, where is this peace that passes understanding? Is this part of the second coming of Christ, then we will have peace, is this an internal peace of mind believing that I have escaped the fires of hell, or is it possible to really have peace on earth?
With all these thoughts swirling in my mind I was reminded of the words of the righteous and devout Simeon who spent his life, like many before him, waiting for the true messiah. His words are so haunting and yet, encouraging. To speak with such certainty of this child, to have it revealed so clearly by the Holy Spirit that this was, in fact, the son of God, and to then give a prophecy that couldn’t have been more accurate. To this day the gentiles receive the light of revelation and for the Jew who would receive Jesus, the glory of being His chosen people. More than 2,000 years later the name of Jesus still causes the rising and falling of many in Israel, and mankind’s heart to this very minute is still pierced and made known by the work of the One who would die on the cross, and rise from the dead.
I will leave you now with the main section of scripture we will be studying this Sunday as we look at the peace the Christ child ushered in and the peace that is to come with His return.
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.
When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”