Sermon Title: A Child's Radical Impact – Luke 2:22-52
In this passage we looked at the encounter between a very young Jesus and two people who watched for his coming: Simeon and Anna. Read this story here (Luke 2:25-38). Simeon and Anna, independent of each other, were waiting at the temple for the coming Messiah. They are described as righteous, devout, and prayerful.
Mike commented, “God rewards the faithful life of an older person. Faithful, older believers look forward to seeing Jesus face to face.”
But is this true for most Christians? Do we really imagine our heavenly reward this way?
I’m fairly convinced, by listening to people talk about their hope of heaven, that many believers have a self-oriented desire when it comes to heaven. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it this way:
People look forward to most in heaven that which they sought or desired most on earth.
Some who have been permanently injured or whose bodies have given out over time look forward in heaven to having a new body and restored health.
Some who have lost precious loved ones to death look forward in heaven to that time of reunion and renewed relationship.
Some who have calibrated their lives toward success and prosperity look forward in heaven to streets of gold and mansions of glory.
Some who have sought after positions of power or control on earth look forward in heaven to reigning together with Christ.
Some who have lived under the labor of strife, conflict, tensions, or even war look forward in heaven to a place of peace.
While it is certainly not wrong to hope for these things, and there are scriptural evidences that all of these will be part of our heavenly experience, what does this say about our desire to encounter the living Jesus?
One morning in church, I watched as an elderly woman named Rose sang a hymn. She wasn’t holding a hymnal or watching the projector screens. Her eyes were closed and she had one hand lifted up as if she was reaching out to someone. After the service, I asked Rose about the time of worship, and she said, “Not very long from now, I will get to meet Jesus. I just can’t wait to be with him.”
If we are to truly embrace the reward that Simeon and Anna so greatly enjoyed, we will fix our devotion – and our hope – on Christ alone. And Rose, at this very moment is enjoying the fruit of her faithful life.
Yes, I believe that God rewards the faithful devotion that we express while here on earth. And I believe that He, Jesus Christ, is our great reward. Being in his presence will be beyond all other satisfactions.
If you have a moment, watch and listen to this song. It paints a beautiful picture of the moment when we can experience the reward of faithful living.