Our Kenyan pastor recently preached on the birth of Jesus and Herod's reaction. The following Sunday I was able to share in another church about Simeon, the prophet who received baby Jesus in the temple when he was being dedicated to the Lord.
The contrast between the two reactions to Jesus' birth is amazing and should challenge us to examine how we actually respond to the gift of Jesus. Simeon and Herod both saw Jesus not just as an innocent baby born in humble surroundings. They both saw him for what he would become, King. However their response to the truth of his coming Kingship was remarkably different. Herod wanted none of it. He liked being King. He wanted to maintain power and control and wasn't going to relinquish it to anyone. Period. Even if he had to kill many innocent babies, he would not submit.
Simeon not only was willing to submit to the Kingship of Jesus, but he was totally -100% at peace knowing that God has graciously kept his promise to deliver not only Israel, but all people from the bondage of sin. Simeon understood from the scriptures that man was separated from a Holy God because of our own sinful, selfish hearts and that we all would remain separated from him forever if we were not rescued and redeemed. Simeon knew that if we repented and believed, submitted ourselves to this Jesus who is our Savior, then we will be reconciled to our holy creator God.
|A friend receives her first bible in |
Today, what do our actions reveal about our response to Jesus? Have we joyfully and thankfully submitted to King Jesus? Or, are there parts of our life that we struggle to maintain power and control over? Are we still seeking the things our hearts desire rather than the things and paths that God desires for us? Do we still want to be in charge and to hear our own name rather than the name of Jesus?
I know in my heart there are times that my flesh swells up and deeply desires to maintain power and control. I have to pray and ask the same Holy Spirit that led Simeon to lead me to a place of humility, surrender, and submission to the will of God as revealed in the scriptures.
There is so much more to delve into with both Herod and Simeon, especially Simeon's declaration song about Jesus. But as we approach Christmas day, I pray my family and yours will be led by God's Holy Spirit to rejoice in the birth of Jesus who has made a way for our souls to be restored with our creator - finding joy and peace in surrendering to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
|Asa playing a soccer game with the Great Rift Valley |
and Mt. Suswa in the background
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Merry Christmas from Africa,
|Sunset with Kilimanjaro from|
Amboselli Game Park
|Sarah using her mad nursing skills |
at a traffic accident in town.
|Nehemiah and Sarah before |
NLD's christmas program at school.
|Rainey's 15th birthday party with NLD|
and Benny. She had double party
with a friend from Texas
(thus the cowboy stuff)