Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Whenever I think I've got some hangup with the sentimentality of Christmas, something comes to my inbox that really, for me, puts things into a way different perspective.
- An Old Man
In the birth stories of Luke and Matthew, only one person seems to grasp the mysterious nature of what God has set in motion: the old man Simeon, who recognized the baby as the Messiah, instinctively understood that conflict would surely follow. "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against..." he said, and then made the prediction that a sword would pierce Mary's own soul. Somehow Simeon sensed that though on the surface little had changed - the autocrat Herod still ruled, Roman troops were still stringing up patriots, Jerusalem still overflowed with beggars - underneath everything had changed. A new force had arrived to undermine the world's powers.
[Philip Yancey tells the Christmas story you won't find portrayed on greeting cards.
Source: Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. - Bruderhof.com]