So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” — Luke 2:27b, 28, 30-32, NLT
Right there. In black and white. Jesus is the light to reveal God to the nations. He is the glory of God’s people Israel.
Hallelujah. We are all in.
I sigh at this. I sing to this.
And then, in this same passage where Simeon happens upon the baby God and shares his prophecy to brand new parents Mary and Joseph, division occurs. Just two verses later, the synagogue elder says, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him (34b).”
Oppose him? Really? The darling delight in the arms of his parents has barely made a cooing sound. He doesn’t even have his first tooth. He hasn’t taken his first step. And there’s a divide? Already?
What do we do, accept this?
I say no. I say that we, like Simeon, still hold onto this baby. We hold on dearly. We can’t let go of hope. We can’t stop living into salvation for ourselves and for all of those around us.
The cards may be stacked against us, but this doesn’t mean we give up trying.
PRAYER: Light to the Nations, help us share Your salvation even—or especially—to a world against You. Amen.