12.16.2009

Found Faithful

As the Christmas season carries on, I'm reminded of the different stories of the Bible about this time: the angel's proclamation, the birth of the Messiah, the shepherds and angels worshiping, and the Magi.  One story that seems to get lost in the hustle and bustle of this season is what takes place about the time that Jesus Christ was a week old.  Luke 2:21-35 paints the picture for us.  In this passage of Scripture, one can see the greatness of being faithful to what God has commanded and called us to do.  Two stories are given that turn into one.

The first story: Mary and Joseph

Why were these two young people chosen to be the earthly parents of the Messiah?  Was it their good looks?  Their standing in society?  No, the reason that these two were chosen is because they were found faithful (Luke 1:28-38; Matthew 1:18-25).  They had been faithful to God in keeping His commands.  They followed after God the best way they knew how. Now when this young couple's world got turned upside down by the unexpected Child, their faithfulness did not fade a bit.  We see in the focal passage that Mary and Joseph continue to be faithful to the commands of God.  They had Jesus circumcised on the 8th day.  They took Him to the Temple to consecrate Him.  They offered the recommended sacrifice even when the funds were very low (remember the Magi wouldn't arrive for another 23 months or so).

This young couple could have easily taken a different path.  Here we have a young couple who just had an unplanned (by them) baby, living in a place that was not their home.  This young couple could have easily let their faithfulness fade in trying to provide for themselves.  They could have gotten prideful in thinking, "We have the Messiah right here.  Why do we need to go through all these rules or even go to Jerusalem?"  The fact is that this young couple did not take the easy road, but rather, they stayed on the course they had come to trust (faithfulness to God).

The second story: Simeon

Here is a man of great faithfulness.  He had been told by the Holy Spirit that his eyes would see the Messiah before he died.  We are not told how long Simeon had been waiting on this promised to be made good, but any wait on something like that has to be hard.  He goes into the temple courts not really knowing why, and sees that God is faithful.  He takes the little Jesus and praises God.  True peace has come to this man of God by seeing the face of Jesus.  Isn't that the way it usually comes?

The stories collide

One thing that has stuck in my mind about this passage was, "what if Mary and Joseph weren't faithful?"  What if they didn't see the need to go to Jerusalem and carry out all of these commandments of God?  They were facing many difficult obstacles at that time.  If Mary and Joseph weren't faithful, then how long would Simeon have to wait to see the promise of God come true?  Mary and Joseph's faithfulness to God became the fulfillment of God's promise to Simeon.

What if we were faithful to the little things that God has commanded us?  Could it be that we just might the answer and fulfillment of God's promise to another person?

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