Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Jesus Christ: The Hope of Salvation
Key Verse: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2: 29-32, NIV)
This week, as a church, we meditate observe Mayaltho (the presentation of Jesus in the temple).Joseph and Mary followed the Jewish tradition by bringing the child Jesus to the temple. Verse 23 can be seen as a fulfillment of Exodus 13:2, where the dedication of all first-borns was a mandate mediated through Moses for the community of Israel during Passover. The passage also focuses on their encounter with Simon, a person who had hope of salvation through the Messiah. He waited in hope to see the Messiah, and this was due to the inspiration from the Holy Spirit. (v.26). His life was focused on this, and that hope is what enabled and inspired him to live faithfully. Two words are used to describe Simon:
(a) Righteousness– to be well-behaved, living as one should live.
(b) Devout – means cautious and careful in relation to God, and reverence to Him.
Once he was able to see the Messiah, his hope turns into praise. The experience of salvation became the fulfillment of the hope he had in his life. His acceptance of God and the openness to the Holy Spirit is what allowed him to taste salvation. He knew Christ was the source of salvation and peace and comfort to all. Here we also see a transformation, and this is expressed through his prayer and praise. He also understood that everyone was able to experience this gift. The life and experiences of Simonteaches us that:
· Salvation is God’s gift and promise.
· Experiencing salvation is the goal of our lives.
· Our lives should be lived with the hope of salvation, which gives us comfort, and inspires us to live faithfully.
· Salvation is available for all, who accept it.
The character of obedience seen on the part of Joseph and Mary, and the character of righteousness and devoutness seen through Simon are challenges for us as the people of God. We as a people yearn for salvation and redemption. However, experiencing it through acceptance of Jesus Christ also challenges us to transform, and exhibit Christ-like characteristics in our lives. Salvation is a gift, but we must remember it is a privilege, and comes with great responsibility. This will enable us to fully experience salvation like Simon did, and bring this to others.
Prayer:Lord, give us the grace and humility to hope for and experience true salvation in our lives, to transform, and share this with humanity, who longs for comfort and fulfillment. Amen.
Thought for the Day:Salvation is God’s gift to us all. Let us experience it and share God’s gift with others.
Rev. Dennis Abraham, Youth Chaplain, South East Region