When Dreams Become Real

“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “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 2:28-32

Simeon has lingered, he has waited for this a very long time.  He had nights that had brought him dreams, wonderful dreams.  People who dream are different; they tend to visualize what seems to be intangible.  But they also can’t always get a grip on it.  Or explain it.  But when dreams mix with faith they produce incredible things.

Simeon is in the perfect place, at the exact time he needed to be.  When he arrives, the baby Jesus is right there.  Bringing our crazy, mixed lives to that spot sometimes takes a lifetime.  The Holy Spirit however, has ‘superintending power’.  That means that He will directly intervene in us to make things happen.

There is a baby.  And I submit to you that He is the center of this whole narrative.  Through the gospels, this is always the case.  Jesus Christ is the pivot point of every healing, or teaching, in every parable spoken.  It is also great drama when the dreams of a very old man encounter their fulfillment in this baby.

It is interesting (and frightening) to see our society marginalize people.  It seems that those on the ‘ends’ of society are pretty much forgotten.  The weak– the old, and the babies are pushed back.  Not much room for them.  Those in their 20s and 30s are our focus.  I think we need old men and old women, and littles ones to teach us our theology, and discipleship.

Notice that Simeon addresses God in this encounter.  We very quickly find that he is a believer.  His words come out of a worshipper’s heart.  They are plain and direct.  He loves what the Lord has done already, and he is soaked in the beautiful promises of salvation.  But, it’s just him and the baby Jesus at that moment.  They stand and reach up to God, but just for a moment.

A word about the Gentiles.  I think Simeon latches unto what was an obscure teaching in his day.  That the Gentiles, ‘God’s unchosen people’ will be included with the Chosen.  The promises extend out into the darkness–and these promises are luminescent.  They light everything.  This light is headed for the thickest, most dense night–the Gentiles.

A final word about Simeon.  His work is done, he has no fear at all.  He sees these few minutes with the Child as the ultimate culmination of his entire life.  He is an example for us.  And his understanding about the things of God is astonishing.  Father, help me to be like your servant, and watch over me as I struggle to figure it out.  Amen.

Long Furrows

The Plowers

“Many a time they have afflicted me
from my youth;
Yet they have not prevailed against
me.
The plowers plowed on my back;
They made their furrows long.”

Psalm 129:2-3

The farmers here have begun making long furrows.

Lord, help us trust our deep afflicted places to you, that You may plant good in them.  And here’s a simple poem . . .

^

He Prevails

potato-hot.com
potato-hot.com

From our youth
they have afflicted

yet somehow
they have failed

though pushed down
and plowed long

His will for us
prevails.

flourishx

With Love,

Debbie

Deb’s blog can be found and read at: http://iftodaywehear.wordpress.com/

About Barnacles and Masks

prayerforpast

‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS , 
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM  ME .”

Matthew 15:8, NASB

“Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst.”  C.S. Lewis

This singular verse is set in a series of other verses– it certainly does not stand alone.  When these come together, we realize how much the Holy Spirit despises hypocrisy. He hates it, I suppose, because of the destructiveness wreaked on our spirits.

A father or mother may feel a hatred at the dealers who sell the drugs to their child. It’s not that they have any special animosity toward the pusher, but rather, they love their son so much. They will do whatever it takes to protect him.

I really think this is what Jesus feels when it comes to the purveyors of religious legalism, or hypocrisy. He burns with a holy hatred against this particular form of darkness. His vehemence seems reserved, not for sin so much as these lies of “religious pretending”. His repeated “roughness” has to be considered– why?

This should jar us into what is real, and all that is not. The word for hypocrite is “two-faced”. It was used in the Greek theaters for the masks worn by the actors. They would wear whatever the script called for. The audience never knew what was real, and what was only theatrical props.

With our lips (speech) we will honor God. We’ll only speak good things, and words (and actions) become an issue of being appropriate. We put on the particular mask of the moment, and enter the theater. Our hearts are hardly touched, and the deepest part of us becomes inoculated to the real presence of God.

The deep hatred Jesus has is due to the enormity of this sin. It is spirituality gone bad. Twisted and confused, with the shallow veneer of “respectability”. It seems to work for many of us. When our discipleship gets used to wearing masks, things can get very religious.

One last thought. Ships and boats often have to go into dry dock to be scraped clean. Weeds and barnacles can actually cover the hulls; they can severely impede the ships function. Periodic inspection is needed. Jesus wants us to be truly clean.

“Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.”

Charles Spurgeon

&

ybic, Bryan

Bryan.Lowe1@live

Bostonian Bombings

As believers we are called to hope– our weapons are nothing less than the spiritual blade of prayer. This is our work, and our purpose. Pray! And then pray more.

ybic, Bryan

life of a female bible warrior

I just wanted to mention that I’m sad to hear about the people injured and killed, especially the child of eight who lost his young life due to these horrific bombings. I wish we didn’t live in a world like this where these kinds of things happen. May God be with the victims of this senseless violence and their friends and families. You are all in my prayers.

——————–

Statement by the President

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

Good afternoon, everybody. Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds. And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.

The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight…

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