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 on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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, 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.” Luke 2:25–32
On the day you were born, you entered into an ongoing story, your parents expecting, the world waiting for your birth. When you got out of bed this morning, you did not step into a blank slate. You rose into an ongoing story, your story intertwined with the stories of others, history, news, mystery, conflict, grace, love, God.
Eugene Peterson writes about this reality:
The story of Jesus doesn’t begin with Jesus. God had been at work for a long time. Salvation, which is the main business of Jesus, is an old business. Jesus is the coming together in final form of themes and energies and movements that had been set in motion before the foundation of the world. Matthew opens the New Testament by setting the local story of Jesus in its world historical context. He makes sure that as we read his account of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we see the connection with everything that has gone before. “Fulfilled” is one of Matthew’s characteristic verbs; such and such happened “that it might be fulfilled.” Jesus is unique, but he is not odd. (he fits precisely in this story, not an outlier, in fact has no meaning a part from this story. When he invites you to come and follow him, that is simultaneously invitation and teaching to say to you, your life will not have the meaning it could apart from being connected into, congruence with, this story, and alignment with this story. The Gospels tell us the story in such a way that not only is everything previous to us completed in Jesus, we are completed in Jesus. Every day we wake up in the middle of something that is already going on, that has been going on for a long time: genealogy and geology, history and culture, the cosmos – God. We are neither accidental nor incidental to the story. We get orientation, briefing, background, and reassurance. The Gospels provide the comprehensive context by which we see all God’s creation and salvation completed in Jesus, and all parts of our lives – work, family, friends, memories, dreams – also completed in Jesus. Lacking such a context, we are in danger of seeing Jesus as a mere diversion from the concerns announced in newspapers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
How present is this reality to you today?
How does it shape you?
How does it make you more aware?
Your Turn To Share
You have a unique story that continues to be written each day. With threads and themes that are common to my story and to others around you, your story blesses and inspires as we walk the common journey of life and faith as followers of Jesus entering 2015. I am a better person for hearing your story; I am a better person for sharing mine. Share your story this weekend at Creekside. 3 minutes per person, “how did you experience God in your story this past year?”
Peace, hope and love