Summary: To encourage believers to become legends of holiness.
[S] Today the Olympics and the race for the gold will come to a close. Thousands of Athletes representing hundreds of countries and millions of fans have gone to Beijing China to compete in the game of all games, the Olympics. World records were shattered and new legends rose to the top. In some cases those new legends were men and women who didn’t even medal. South African swimmer Natalie Du Toit was one such person. Natalie was South Africa’s premier woman swimmer who had her sights set on the Olympics when tragedy struck. She was riding passenger on a scooter when a car struck her leg from the side destroying it from the knee down. It would have to be amputated and with it so were her hopes and dreams, but not for very long. No longer able to swim the short quick races she turned her attention to open water swimming which is a long distance swim in the ocean because that kind of swimming relies more on the arms than it does the legs. When she qualified for the Olympics her country was ecstatic. Although she placed 16 out of 23, and didn’t win a medal, she won the respect and the hearts of many across the world. Her tenacity and perseverance has made her a legend when it comes to Olympic sports. And her legacy will inspire generations of South Africans to never give up on their dream.
What will you be remembered for? What is the legacy you hope to pass on to the next generation? And what does the bible have to say to us about these issues? So far the bible has revealed two legacies worth pursuing and passing on to future generations. The first legacy came through an unnamed woman whose legacy was that she loved Jesus more than anything. And the second legacy came through a man named Apollos whose is remembered as a man mighty in the Scriptures. What is the next legacy worthy of a Disciples time and effort? Let’s read Luke 2.25-32 and find out.
[S] “Now there was a man named Simeon who lived in Jerusalem. He was a righteous man and very devout. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he eagerly expected the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (Luke 2.25-32, NLT). [S]
What was Simeon’s legacy? I think the clue is found in the second sentence which says, “He was a righteous man and very devout.” God wants us to know that Simeon was a very holy man. And in the gospel of Luke there is a connection between his holiness and being the one to proclaim that he has held the Messiah in his hands. The fact that Simeon is noted as being holy is not an oversight. In the gospel according to Luke you will discover that whenever these words are mentioned in conjunction with a person or an angelic being that something special is getting ready to happen or be announced. To have the announcement of the Messiah come from anyone less than noted for their holiness would not have been taken seriously. [S] As I pondered this I realized that there is something about being holy.
One of the great legacies found throughout the scriptures is the legacy that Simeon embodied, the legacy of being holy. There can be no question that one of the great themes that dominates the bible, the grand depositum of the faith as John Wesley would refer to it as, is the legacy for God’s people to be known for their holiness.
[S] 1 Peter 1.13-16, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (NIV)
Here Peter is reminding those he’s writing to of God’s commands in Leviticus to be holy. God wants those who bear his name to reflect his image to the world and that means since God is holy we need to be holy too. To be a holy people. To be a holy nation. To be a holy church. To be a holy choir. To be a holy council. To be a holy Sunday school class. To be a holy leader. To be a holy pastor. To be a holy person. To be a holy mom. To be a holy dad. To be a holy entrepreneur. To be a holy employee. To be a holy sibling. To be a holy student. And the list could go on.