Monday, December 28, 2015

Devotion 12.29.15

New York Giants' receiver Odell Beckham played last Sunday with a high degree of intensity which went well past the line of sportsmanship.  In fact, it was disruptive and violent and crossed a line, not of decency, but of player safety, slamming helmet to helmet and hitting the defensive backs with open defiance of the referee and umpires standing right there.  Of course, it is the NFL which is largely absent of backbone unless you are alleged to have deflated footballs, but as it tries to rein in the violence of the game, on and off the field, it fined the defensive back and suspended Beckham for one game.

Our world is filled with disruptive forces (and always has been filled, but each generation thinks it is a new thing and that the world is in decline - spoiler alert, it always will be, but let each generation find out on its own).

In Luke 2, Simeon sees Christ as he comes into the temple in accordance with the Jewish law articulated in Exodus 13 when God commands Moses to have each family to give to him the first born child and animal.  Christ is brought in on the eighth day and Simeon takes him in his arms to praise God for allowing him to see the Christ, "a light for revelation to the gentile and for glory to your people Israel." (Luke 2:32)

Joseph and Mary "marveled at what was said about him" (v 33), but Simeon continues, "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed." (v 34)

Christ is to be a disruptive force according to Simeon, and the gospels reveal this prophecy, inspired by the Spirit (v 27), is certainly 100% accurate.  Christ is a disruptive force for us today as his Word is described as a sword, slicing our hearts open to the truth and healing on its two edges.

We pray that we hear Christ's word, take it to heart, allow it to convict us and to heal us, and that the Spirit move us to grow in the faith and to take Christ's word to others.

Hope Men's Ministry

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