You have prepared your salvation in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation—to the nations and the glory of your people, Israel. … This child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel and for a sign to be opposed. As a result of him the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. Luke 2:30–35
With the majority of humanity is not in step with God, Simeon predicted that Jesus was “destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel [and the rest of the world] and to be a controversial sign.” The difficulty which many—even his mother, Mary—have with Christ reveals the thoughts of our hearts; that is, because of the difference between Jesus and the rest of us, the sinfulness or rightness of our attitudes and values are exposed. But Jesus doesn’t just reveal our problems, he reveals the solution which saves us. Jesus is the light which reveals God’s good intentions for creation. Jesus is the light which reveals how God is working to make it possible for us to receive good from him. Jesus is the light which makes it possible for us to navigate safely through life’s dangers; if we don’t trust him, we’ll crash and sink. But when we align ourselves with Jesus, we become lights in the world, who will, as we follow Jesus in the obedience of faith, point people to the glory of God.
While Christmas lamps adorn our homes and streets
And spread across the land their cheerful light,
Another light shines out across the years and treats
Us to the view from Heaven’s lofty height.
Christ is God’s light; so ev’ryone can see
What’s going on inside the human soul—
A controversial plan, we all agree,
As he reveals who really has control.
The light of Jesus’ life reveals to us
God’s wisdom, righteousness and glorious grace;
And whether we have been rebellious
Or faithful members of the human race.
We love the power of your light, O Lord;
May we reflect its splendor to the world.