From the Pastor
O Come all Ye Faithful
Cynicism – it just sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Cynicism has a rich and long history. The form we see today is not what the originator, Diogenes had in mind in the 5th century B.C. Today’s cynicism is a deep distrust of institutions and people in authority. It develops from a root of anger that is the result of disillusionment and disappointment. The cynics of today tend to distrust people’s motives and believe people do this mostly out of self-interest – everyone, that is except them. Faithfulness is far from the cynic’s heart.
In Scripture, especially the nativity stories, we see faithfulness at every hand. Mary was faithful and disregarded the consequences of her devotion to God. Joseph went against his natural inclinations to take Mary as his wife, even when he didn’t fully understand.
Later, after Jesus was born, his parents took him to the Temple for the usual rituals for him and his mother. At that visit, they met two individuals who were the epitome of faithfulness – Simeon and Anna.
Simeon was an elderly man whom God had promised he would see the Messiah before he died. He was a righteous and devout man. The Holy Spirit led him to the Temple to see Jesus. Anna, an elderly prophet, began to praise God when she heard Simeon’s words.
Notice how remarkable their actions were. Both of them were old enough to have seen the corruption of the Temple and the Kings of Judea. They witnessed the harshness of the Roman Empire. They had seen the years come and go with no relief. They had also seen the rise and fall of false messiahs and yet continued to hope that God would keep God’s word.
Because they remained faithful to God, they got to see the Messiah before anyone else. Their faithfulness was based not on a person or an institution, God, and that made all the difference.
This week we will learn how to keep cynicism at bay while we cultivate a life of faithfulness.