by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
The Prince of Peace, the Son of David, was announced by Isaiah. The story of his coming was proclaimed by the evangelists, each with a different emphasis. Jesus made God's kingship real in this world. Today, the kingdom is here—and it is coming.
"This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel.... And a sword will pierce your own soul" (Luke 2:34–35).
When we hold a child, we cannot help wondering what his or her destiny will be. Is he going to be happy? Will she affect many lives? For better? For worse?
It is said of a certain philosopher that he tipped his hat in salute whenever he saw a child. He did not do so for older people. "They have lived already," he said. "But the children! One never knows what will come from the children."
Holding the child in his arms, the prophet speaks of Jesus' destiny.
Simeon's words are the first indication (in the gospels) of suffering and pain. God's salvation in Jesus will involve blood and tears. Jesus, the Savior of his people, will be rejected by many. He will be as a rock on whom one builds, or a stumbling block over whom one falls. In his presence no neutrality will be possible. He will be a light that reveals people's inner thoughts. Like a sword, Christ will divide Israel first and every community thereafter. But the sword will also hurt Jesus. And his pain will tear up Mary's heart. The most blessed among women will also be the mother of sorrows.
Over the glorious scene in the temple falls the shadow of the cross. The joy of angels, shepherds, and magi is now mingled with a foreboding of terror.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version