Rejection

This week we’re finishing up 2020 and the “Let us Adore Him” sermon series.

Do you recall the anxiety that came with “picking teams” for sports or games in elementary school? Our son has a pitiful story about a time he wasn’t picked at all. The other kids chose up teams and just started playing while he was still standing there.

As adults we seldom play touch football, but we experience the same rejection. Maybe some nice people at your workplace socialize outside the office and you wish just once to be invited. Or maybe within your family, even if it’s a healthy and loving one, you just somehow don’t fit. It’s painful to be rejected, and painful to witness someone you love being rejected.

Simeon came to the temple to see Jesus in person, praising God for His salvation, and amazing Joseph and Mary in the process. But Simeon’s visit was not all sunshine and roses, because he also delivered a harsh truth.

Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed - and a sword will pierce your own soul - that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35 HCSB)

Jesus would face opposition, and it would pierce Mary’s soul. But what does it mean by “the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed?” A Bible commentary helped me understand it better. For some, Jesus is a stumbling stone that reveals our hearts’ imperfections:

He will be a sanctuary; but for the two houses of Israel, He will be a stone to stumble over and a rock to trip over, and a trap and a snare to the inhabitants. Many will stumble over these; they will fall and be broken; they will be snared and captured. (Isaiah 8:14-15 HCSB)

But Jesus is supposed to be a cornerstone:

Therefore the Lord God said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable. (Isaiah 28:16 HCSB)

Jesus’ divine perfection reveals my flaws, and I am sure to stumble and fall again before this day is through; but the foundational cornerstone will not be knocked aside by our failings.

During the Christmas season we adore and celebrate Him. This new year let’s not reject or overlook Him. Let’s stand on His foundation that won’t be shaken no matter what this year brings.

By Mark Stuart

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