Focus: Luke 2:21-35
I recently saw an article about how our world wants Christians to be silent. They will grudgingly allow you to have your Christian beliefs, but don’t share them and don’t inconvenience them with those beliefs because they have the right to be non-Christian. It begs the question for all of us about how comfortable we are with speaking or living our faith. Most Christians are silent. They are careful not to offend people with their views. They will participate in a Sunday activity event even if it means missing church or do something shady in business. Yet what is the cost of keeping silent about our savior? What does Jesus really mean to you and to your future? Today, we will look at a man who could not keep silent. As he holds the baby Jesus in his arms, the whole world must know the reason for his hope and faith.
Simeon knows the reason for hope and so should we. For 400 years, the people of Israel have been waiting for God to act on their behalf. During that time, they have been overrun by Persians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. They have had to fight to keep their faith in a world where Zeus is king. Now God has acted and there is hope. God has not forgotten them. The child is that hope for he is the messiah that has been promised from the beginning of time. Simeon holds God’s answer to all the problems that they face as people. It is a day of hope realized and hope gained.
What is your hope? In our country, I think hope is often about technology and money. If we have enough gadgets or if we get smarter we can conquer all the woes of the world. If we have enough money saved, we can live comfortably and retire with a life of ease. Yet, we look for hope in all the wrong places. With all our technology we cannot stop the war or world hunger. With all our money, we cannot make a better place. The reason is that none of that changes the hearts of men. We just have bigger bombs and more greed.
Can you give the reason for your hope? Simeon had no trouble giving the reason for his hope. Jesus was the hope of Israel, the salvation of Israel and the light of the world. He was the answer to man’s need and the only way of hope and salvation. It was what he had been waiting for and he proclaimed it loudly. Could we tell people why our faith is in Jesus? If a microphone was given to you to tell the people around you what you believe about Jesus, could you tell them? Maybe, the question is would you tell them even if you know?
There are a lot of people out there who want to know why you are a Christian and why you believe the things that you do. They are tired of the false hope and salvation that the world has to offer. It hasn’t worked and they are looking for something different. Hold the child in your arms and give them your response. You don’t have to picket or change the laws. Just tell people what you know and believe about the child. Invite them to worship or to Sunday school or small group. Stop being a silent Christian and give people a reason for your hope. Amen.