Simeon: Crazy About Christmas
December 14, 2003
Introduction: The other day I saw one of those cartoons that would really be funny if it weren't so true. It pictured two ladies hurrying down the street obviously busy Christmas shopping. They pass a window with a nativity scene. One turns to the other and says with a disturbed look, "Wouldn't you know it? Somebody is always pushing religion. Now we can't even have Christmas without it!"
Christmas makes some people crazy. I don't mean certifiably crazy. I mean crazy as in getting distracted, out of sorts, losing perspective, or doing things they normally wouldn't do. Like spending money they don't have, enduring snarling traffic, surly crowds and ... malls! What's really crazy is the notion that all this is normal! This is what Christmas is really all about!
On the other hand, what if somebody we knew announced that she was going to skip all of the commercial stuff. Instead she insisted that this Christmas was going to be spent totally honoring and worshipping Jesus. I suspect some of us might be tempted to conclude that our friend had gone crazy.
Relax, I am not advocating that! I am not calling for us to abandon all of the "normal" things that have become Christmas. I am suggesting, however, that we all might benefit if we took a deep breath, stepped back a few steps and tried to do a little less of the commercial, secular Christmas thing and a bit more of the simpler, more spiritual Christmas thing. Am I crazy or what?
I say all of that to introduce the story of one of the lesser characters of Christmas. We don't know a lot about Simeon. We just know that most people probably considered him a bit radical. But he was an old man, so they probably gave him some slack and then just ignored him. They may have thought he was just a wee bit crazy. Actually he just knew something they didn't!
As I have done on many occasions before, today I will ...
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