Glory of Israel

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Sovereign Lord… 

 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 2:30-32 NLT

When Simeon, a devout Israelite awaiting God’s Messiah, saw the baby Jesus he took Him in his arms and praised God. In our passage today we see Simeon’s proclamation of who Jesus is and why He came. God’s salvation, a light to reveal God to the nations, the glory of Israel; Simeon offered a heartfelt description of the Messiah. Known as the “Canticle of Simeon: or the Nunc Dimittis, (which are the first words of his prayer in Latin – “Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant…”) it is still sung in evening prayers in orthodox churches representing the confession and experience of believers.

The Savior of the world came through the Jewish nation. Sadly, although they knew the Old Testament prophecies, many did not receive Him. Jesus was the crowning glory of God’s people Israel, for through them came the Messiah – Jesus the light to all nations.

This is an excerpt from Karol’s Devotional, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places

 

Reflecting Christmas

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The story of Christmas is rich with promise. This one simple story of a child in a manager offers magnificent hope for all eternity. To think that God chose to enter this world, to connect with sinful mankind and offer salvation through His Son! Christmas reminds us that God sees us, He hears us and He loves us. The grandest part of the story is that He chose to reconcile us to Himself through Jesus.

Christmas compels us to reflect this story, yet the overwhelming distractions from this season tend to keep us from living out its great truths. Past hurts and bitterness prevent us from reflecting His forgiveness and reconciliation. The busyness and bustle of the season, rob us of shining His peace, joy and hope in a dark world.

So let’s go to Him and ask His Spirit to shine boldly and brightly through our brokenness. And as much as it depends on us, let us live at peace with everyone. Let’s reconcile differences and reflect His forgiveness – it doesn’t take extra time as much as it takes extra heart.  May our prayer continually be, Father shine your love and forgiveness through me to the people around me. May I be your light in this dark world and reflect the true story of Christmas in my actions and words.