And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2:34)
Simeon blesses the young family, but then he offers a warning: this Child's life will not be peaceful. God will upset the current situation. The high will fall; the lowly will rise, and Jesus will be opposed, even to the point of death. And finally, "the thoughts from many hearts will be revealed."
What is this? Why would God plan to upset things? Can't we just have peaceful, pain-free progress, with the human race slowly getting better and better in every way?
Apparently not. And we should not be surprised, living in a broken world as we do. There are so many evils that don't get better unless there is pain first. A bad appendix has to come out—there's no choice about surgery. A broken relationship needs honesty and openness if it's ever to get better. Corruption in politics needs to be exposed before it can be cleaned out.
But the ultimate goal is always healing—life, joy, peace. Jesus comes into this world, not just to upset it, but to set it right. If He humbles us, He will lift us up again. If we suffer, we know He will raise us up, just as He too suffered and was raised from the dead. Through Jesus, the thoughts of God's heart have been revealed—and they are love and mercy to us.
THE PRAYER: Lord, please hold on to me while I wait for You to set the world right again. Amen.
* Do you like change or do you prefer peace? Why?
* Tell about a time when something had to be upset or broken before it could be fixed.
* When have you seen Jesus take your broken life and make something beautiful with it?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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