Thursday, February 25, 2010

God’s Helicopter View times two

Read Luke 2:21-39
The two questions that I have in my study did not speak to me, but I just kept seeing this unfold in my mind while I read these verses: God’s helicopter view…times two…
In case you are new to the term “helicopter view,” I’ll try and briefly explain it. We as humans were placed in “time,” which was created by God. It’s easy to conceptualize God creating mountains and animals, but it is easy to forget or not even consider that God created everything. Concepts more difficult to quantify like the ebbs and waves of life, desires, and time. We must live in a time line, past present, and future. However, because God created time, he is outside of time. He has what is called the helicopter view. Imagine Him hovering over the Earth and seeing everything happen at once. Not just everywhere at the same time, but everything, everywhere throughout all time.
In these verses there are two groups of people whose lives are going to converge. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were coming to the temple to dedicate Jesus to the Lord, as require by Jewish law. In verse 25 we meet a man named Simeon who lived in Jerusalem. It says that he was righteous and devout and waiting for the Messiah to come. The Holy Spirit was upon him. It says, “moved by the Spirit,” he went to the temple courts. Think of God’s helicopter view hovering over this part of the world. We can see Joseph, Mary, and Jesus walking toward the temple and from a different direction, Simeon walking to the temple where they will meet. God used the law and tradition to bring Jesus’ family to the temple, but he used the urging of the Holy Spirit to bring Simeon, demonstrating different methods God employs for the participation in his purpose. Simeon was able to “hear” the Holy Spirit because he was righteous, devout, and “looking” for Him. What if Simeon had ignored the Holy Spirit, like we do so many times..? What if Simeon had the leading from the Holy Spirit to go to the temple, but instead stayed on his couch and watched TV? It doesn’t appear that the ultimate plan of God would have been thwarted in any way, but Simeon would have missed out on a great gift from God. He could have missed meeting Jesus, the Savior of the world. So often, when we ignore God’s urging in our life, it is not the rest of humanity that misses out, but us. God’s plan will go on with or without you. However, he gives us many chances to be part of his purpose. This is a gift to you, don’t miss it.
On a side note, and certainly worthy of its own study is how the helicopter view interacts with sin. Many times, Christians can’t get a grip on their sin and salvation. “I asked Jesus into my life, but I keep on sinning.” Must I keep asking him into my life? How can God forgive me of sins I have not yet committed? Remember that God is outside of time, and when you finally answer your knocking door and ask God to forgive you, he sees all your sins, past, present, and future at one time. He forgives you for the sins you don’t know about yet…
Simeon got to meet Jesus. He got to interact with Joseph and Mary. He was able to bless them with some encouraging words…and otherwise. If this did not happen, the rest of the world would have kept moving along, but Simeon would have missed a huge gift from God. Listen to the Holy Spirit; don’t miss out of all that God has to offer...

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