Christmas is just a few days away and amidst all the gift-buying, traffic-rushing, party-hopping activities, it is a time for us to reflect on the real reason why we are celebrating this holiday.
Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing with you some thoughts and stories from our beloved OMF Lit authors on what Christmas really means for us who believe that that Child born in the manger is the salvation of this world.
Today’s featured author is Andy Smith, author of Meaningful Evangelism. He has served as an OMF International missionary in the Philippines since 1989. He has planted churches, particularly in Albay province. He now trains and coaches church workers on how to lead more people to the Lord.
Forty days after Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem. They fulfilled two commands of the Law. First, they consecrated Him to the Lord. Second, they offered a sacrifice to purify Mary.
A faithful Jew named Simeon was in Jerusalem at that time. His name means “God hears.” Clearly, he also listened to God.
Simeon knew well the wonderful promises of God: God would forgive Israel’s sin; His glory would be revealed; and all mankind together would see it (Isaiah 40:1-5). Plus, the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would see the Christ.
When Joseph and Mary headed to the Temple, the Holy Spirit urged Simeon to do the same. There, he saw the Child. He took Him in his arms and praised God: “I have see Your salvation. He is a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel.”
Jesus is the Light. He came to save men and women from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. He came to move them from the darkness to the light. All who believe in Him have been so saved. They now live in the light.
However, many people remain in the dark. Some know it. Their hatred, cheating, and lying testify that they are under the power of the devil. They offer animal sacrifices, hoping to appease the spirits.
On the other hand, some are unaware that they are in the darkness. Because of their good works, they think they will be saved. Being well educated, they think they know the truth. Being blessed materially, they think God is pleased with them.
For they want many more people to be moved from the darkness to the light. They long for Jesus to be a light for revelation to them, too. They desire to see a growing number of people living in the light.
Plus, they know that next December, even more Christmas lights and parols will shine. Those lights will beautifully symbolize the season. They will declare that the Light of the World has indeed come.