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Friday, December 18, 2009

Are You Prepared to Celebrate?

Simeon was ready. Are we?

From the beginning, God promised a Redeemer, one who would “crush the head” of Satan and suffer pain in the process (Gen. 3:15). And throughout the ages, God gave further wonderful and mysterious hints about the coming of the Christ, the King, the Suffering Servant. He promised Abraham that through his descendants, all peoples would be blessed (Gen. 12:3). He redeemed His people from political and spiritual bondage in Egypt (Ex. 6:6; 20:2), and he healed them by a bronze snake “raised up” in the wilderness (Num. 21:8-9). His prophets told of the Comforter of Israel, a Suffering Servant, a light to the Gentiles, one who would bring justice to the nations.

Simeon knew and studied these promises, and he was ready and waiting for the Christ, the redeemer of Israel.

Advent is a season of preparation. As we prepare our hearts for Christmas—the celebration of the first coming of Christ—we remind ourselves to prepare for His return in glory. Like Simeon, we know His promises and we know He is coming. But are we ready and waiting? Simeon was a man whose heart was prepared for the Lord’s arrival. He listened to God, relied on His promises, and was empowered by His Holy Spirit. As a result, when God called at the greatest moment in human history, Simeon was ready. And at the arrival of the Christ, he could shout in celebration: “I am ready to depart in peace. I have seen your salvation!” Simeon was ready to be called home to meet his Redeemer. Are you?

Preparing to celebrate Christmas—an earthly symbol of the coming of the Redeemer—is really heart preparation to welcome Him in the tangible, temporal world. We celebrate Him and His literal presence in our daily lives, and we prepare our hearts to celebrate His coming again in glory.

Are you ready to celebrate?

~ Mike Schutt, Professor at Regent University School of Law, and Director of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies

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