This fall found us working to put a wood burning stove in our living room. After much talking over the years, plenty of research, the purchase and self-installing of the stove– we can now say our stove is up and running and boy, we sure are enjoying the warmth it brings! There is nothing like sitting next to the fire with the flame roaring, the crackle of the wood, the warmth coming from it as I sit in front of it with my rocking chair.
No matter how cold it gets outside or how much snow flies (and yes we often get quite the snowstorm here in Colorado) with just a few proper placements of newspaper, cardboard and firewood followed by a flame, the stove is up and running and warmth will soon ensue. No matter how dark, cold or dreary it is, there is LIGHT & LIFE where the fire glows.
It reminds me of a phrase from the song, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”:
“Life and Light to all He brings”“Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” Charles Wesley
What an accurate representation of what happened that great night, so many years ago, when God’s own son was born into the world. Upon His wondrous birth there was IMMEDIATE LIFE & LIGHT available for all mankind. It was like the instantaneous lighting of a “stove”: igniting light, warmth, and life to what had been darkness before.
“The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.”John 1:4-5, NLT
or in another version:
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”John 1:4, KJV
It had been like a “long, cold, dark winter” for the people who waited for the Messiah. They were eagerly looking for the light and warmth of their Messiah to appear. And it was a long wait… at least 700 years since the prophet Isaiah had said:
“For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, “the prince of peace.””Isaiah 9:6,7
I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to live in that gap between the prophecies and knowing the Messiah would come! They looked faithfully for their Savior to come not knowing when or how He would arrive. But arrive He did (Luke 2:1-20)!
Often times the retelling of the Christmas Story does not include one very important part: the merriment and celebration that happened over the baby Jesus when He was presented at the temple (Luke 2:21-40). Like the parents of any newborn, Joseph and Mary visited the temple to make their sacrifice. While they were there the faithful Simeon and Anna recognized the baby for who He was- the Messiah! They had seen many many babies over the year but this one was undeniably the true Messiah– God had spoke to Simeon to go to the temple (Luke 2:27). This Jesus, this baby who was God’s own son, was recognized as the One who– not so unlike the light of a warm fire after a long cold winter– would light up their lives with salvation. Through His birth, He immediately brought life and light to the believer’s hearts who had so faithfully and patiently been awaiting His arrival.
When seeing the Messiah Simeon prophesied:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,Luke 2:29-32
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
And Anna praised God and rejoiced (Luke 2:38)!
Can’t you feel the satisfying of their long wait? The fact that the LIGHT, the LIFE they had been waiting for in the Messiah had come and they could now go on in peace knowing they had met Him, the Savior of the World.
As modern day believers we do have something in common with Simeon and Anna: we are awaiting Christ too! While they were awaiting the Messiah’s first coming– we await His second coming. May we be like Anna and Simeon… faithful, trusting, and patient as we wait for His second coming. May we be found faithfully serving Him, loving Him when He returns again… this time not as a baby but instead as a King, coming to gather His own.
My prayer for this week: Lord and Savior Jesus, please help us to never grow weary in our journey of waiting for you, our Messiah’s, 2nd return. May we be found faithful and trusting like Simeon and Anna. May our hearts be filled with your light, the warmth of your life and love. Oh how we long for the day you will come to gather us and take us home to you where you “will wipe every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). We faithfully wait on you. May we be found faithful when you return. In the mean time, help us to cherish the warmth of your light and life, and love and share it to those in the world who are still out in the dark and cold. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Until next time,
PS. King Jesus will return again! Read more about it here:
P.P.S. Speaking of “long, cold, dark” winters here are two of my posts on hope even in the hard times:
P.P.P.S. Here are my favorite Christmas blogs. Enjoy the encouragement they bring! Also, please remember you can look under my blog archives at any time for encouragement!