Spiritual Revolutionaries in an Age of Despair

ChristianityToday.com | 1/14/2019 | Staff
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Anna - Simeon - Time - Hopelessness - Division

Anna and Simeon lived in a time of seeming political hopelessness and division, much like our own. Nonetheless, they persisted in faith when many of their contemporaries abandoned the God of Israel. God rewarded their persistence in faith by making them among the first witnesses of the Messiah.

There are many who look upon the church’s apparent infatuation with political power and indifference to corruption and wonder if there is a faithful way forward that remains connected to the great tradition and is able to speak a relevant word in the present moment. I do not pretend to have all the answers, but the testimonies of Anna and Simeon carry within them the spiritual practices necessary to wait for his second coming in hope.

Arrival - Messiah - Faithful - Jesus - Day

Before the arrival of the Messiah, the faithful of Jesus’ day had every reason for cynicism. With the fleeting exception of the troubled Hasmonean rule, Israel had been passed from one foreign ruler to the next. Herod was a well-known rogue who owed his position to an equally morally bankrupt Roman hierarchy. In his day, he was most famous for his repair and expansion of the temple in Jerusalem. There is no evidence, however, that Herod actually had a deep personal faith. Instead, his pious activities were a farce, an attempt to use religious posturing as a tool to placate a pious populous that was skeptical of his right to rule.

The problem was not simply foreign powers. Within Israel itself there were collaborators: tax collectors, religious leaders, and politicians whose very livelihood and existence depended upon the support of the Romans over and against their own people....
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