I believe that Christmas is all about being honest with ourselves; recognizing who we really are and allowing the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out. That, my friends, is the true heart of Christmas.
The old man, Simeon waited for many years for a very special moment. During a time where God was not speaking much; a season of four hundred years to be exact, Simeon was made aware by the Holy Spirit that he will not see death until the Messiah was born. Eight days after Jesus was born, his eyes saw baby Jesus at the Temple as Mary and Joseph were taking care of the required custom of the Law. Not much is said about Simeon other than he was righteous and devoted. However this Prophet made very important and insightful statements about Jesus.
“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 our 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.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 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, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:25-35)
Let’s take a look at four statements that Simeon made about Jesus and then take a closer look at the fourth one:
- Jesus came to save the world. From the beginning it was established that Jesus did not only come to save the Jews; even as he came to save them first; Jesus came to save the world.
- There is no middle ground with Jesus; He either is the reason you are rising or the reason you are falling.
- Jesus will be targeted and spoken against. We should not be surprised of all the resistance that the name of Jesus causes in this world. The world manifests its hate for Jesus more and more. Even as we celebrate Christmas, it is getting to the point when it is politically incorrect to say “Merry Christmas.”
- Jesus came so that our thoughts may be revealed.
I want to place an emphasis on this fourth statement made by Simeon as it refers to this article: I want to do so because it seems like this powerful statement has been almost ignored. Jesus did not come only to take away a few damaging behaviors in our lives or for us to join a church or just change the way we talk. Jesus came to change the way we think. We can hide behind our behaviors and behind saying all the right things: we can make it look like all is well with us and that we have no major issues; but until we change the way we think, we will continue to be the same. In fact, a time will come when what is in your mind will find its way to the reality of your behavior and the reality of what comes out of your mouth. Proverbs 23:6-7 tells us:
“6Eat not the bread of him who has a hard, grudging, and envious eye, neither desire his dainty foods;
7For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].”
These verses are clearly describing someone who tells us something with his mouth, but in his heart is saying something totally different. Proverbs is not giving credit to the behavior of this person, as this person gives food to someone; Proverbs is not even giving credit to the fact that this person is actually expressing with his lips: “eat and drink.” What Proverbs accepts as real, is the thought of this person: “yet his heart is not with you (but grudging the cost).” Beloved, we are what we think. This is what Jesus came to change; religion emphasizes on outer appearances. Jesus came to reveal our reality…the reality of our minds. Jesus wants our meditation (Our deep thoughts) to be pleasing unto Him. “May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.” (Ps. 104:34). I believe that Christmas is all about being honest with ourselves; recognizing who we really are and allowing the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out. That, my friends, is the true heart of Christmas.