A Sign spoken against–2012
Merry Monday by Parris Bailey
Luke 2:34 “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.”
2011 was a good year to me and I am reaching out to embrace what God has for me in the new year. I want to learn from my past years and build on it for the year to come. I don’t want to keep repeating the same mistakes year after year, nor do I want to live in a box or stay in my cute routine. We can either fall on the rock or unfortunately the rock will fall on us. Let the wind blow upon our gardens O Lord!
The day Jesus was taken into the temple to be dedicated was a big day for Joseph and Mary. They were greeted with prophecy, joy and sorrow all at the same time. In fact Mary begin to “ponder the things that were spoken to her”. Wouldn’t it be great if we too would just stop and ponder what the Lord is saying in 2012?
Spurgeon says it like this; “He is set for the rising again of many in Israel, that is, for the conversion of many to God that are dead and buried in sin, and for the consolation of many in God that are sunk and lost in sorrow and despair. Those whom he is set for the fall of may also be the same with those whom he is set for the rising again of. He is set eis ptosin kai anastasin–for their fall, in order to their rising again; to humble and abase them, and bring them off from all confidence in themselves, that they may be exalted by relying on Christ; he wounds and then heals, Paul falls, and rises again.”
Just because you have a set back, doesn’t mean you won’t rise again. I have been privileged to spend a lot of my time over at Marysong Restoration Center where many, many women have checked themselves into our house to “ponder”, or to put it bluntly, get their lives back from drugs or other addictive lifestyles. Usually something happened to them that they never could get over and instead of dealing with it, they ran from it and medicated themselves. Those girls are either going to love God, or hit the streets again. He becomes to them a ‘sign spoken against”. I love watching people change under the power of the gospel. He humbles us yet brings us up out of the dung hill!
What’s so amazing about my life as a pastor is that I feel many people lead lives just as those girls in Marysong. Sure they may not be on drugs, or even have an addiction, but hatred has become their drug of choice, never dealing with their “issues”, but running from one group to another leaving devastation and broken relationships behind.
Spurgeon goes on to say “that he will be a sanctuary to some, and yet a snare to others.” Isaiah 8:14 calls it a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. He comes to extract our poison, and because he is the balm of Gilead. He splits our souls on the Rock of His salvation. 2 Cor. 2:15, says He is either the savor of life, or He becomes a stench. When Christ comes into the room, it gets really messy. He comes to set the broken part in our lives.
MIsty Edwards sings a song about how “she doesn’t wanna be offended”. What will 2012 hold for you? Are you bringing any baggage into the new year? Still carrying around grudges and anger? Sometimes the very thing that aggravates us in someone else is just what Doctor Jesus orders for us. Yes, he becomes a sign spoken against.
“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house. Wherefore also it is contained in Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion the head-stone of the corner, elect, precious, and he that believeth in him shall not be confounded. Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious: but unto them who are disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,” (1 Peter 2:4-7; Isaiah 28:16.)
Christ will have his way in our lives, one way or the other. We can go easy or we can make it hard, really hard. Let his wind blow into your garden in 2012. It’s easy to keep hanging with the same old friends that all make you feel good, but try stepping out into a hurting world and that’s where the spices will flow. Mary, that day in the temple, got an ear full from Simeon. She had to keep enlarging her world, I can only pray you will do the same.