LHM Advent Devotion – December 29, 2014 “Brace Yourself”

 

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Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int’l LLL (LHM). 

“Brace Yourself”

December 29, 2014

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Read Luke 2:33-35.
A sword will pierce through your own soul also. Luke 2:35B

Today is the fifth day of Christmas. Let’s continue to look at the first of two Israelites who saw the Christ Child at the temple long before the wise men arrived.Simeon has seen the Christ, and sung his song of praise to God. Now he turns to give Mary a private message all her own. His prophecy is not for Joseph. By at the time it reaches its fulfillment Joseph will no longer be on earth. His work will be complete. But Mary will still be here.

It is amazing to me how much God revealed to her through a total stranger. Up to this point Mary had heard the wonderful outcome of her Son’s life and the great things He would accomplish. But for the first time on this 40th day, she saw the difficulty of His mission and His ministry. Simeon warned her of the opposition her Son would face and the price He would pay to save the world from sin, death, and hell.

Simeon said, “This Child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed” (Luke 2:34b). Many Israelites will reject Jesus, and fall under God’s judgment for refusing to believe. On the other hand, many others will believe in Jesus Christ and rise to live with God in paradise for His sake.

“He will be a sign that is spoken against” (Luke 2:34b). Simeon predicted the rejection Jesus faced from the religious establishment in Jerusalem that eventually charged Him with blasphemy and vehemently sought His death.

“And a sword will pierce your own soul also” said Simeon warning Mary to brace herself because she will suffer a piercing grief when she stands by the cross and watches her Son die for the sins of the world.

God hasn’t promised that we who trust in Jesus Christ would never suffer troubles, illness, rejection, or death in this life. If it happened to His dear Son and Mary the mother of Jesus our Lord, it will happen to us as well. But He also reminds us of the great future that is ours if we endure in faith. For Jesus Christ conquered sin and death. He rose again on the third day and will return to judge the living and the dead and give eternal life to all those who put their hope, faith, and confidence in Him.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Your love is so amazing. You gave Your own Son to the agony of the cross to save us from our sins. Yet in Your mercy, You didn’t overlook the sorrow Mary would feel at that moment. Prepare us for the moments when we must suffer, and help us look beyond to the glory we will share with You eternally in our heavenly home. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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