This is the Christmas season. We earthlings, even apart from our religiosity, seem to sense something special around us, a certain expectation, something we share, something good that will happen to us. We cannot even fully account for it. But Christmas will come—the calendar relentlessly chews up the days. And sobriety will take over soon with the coming of the new year.
Enter the Christian confession, our faith, the gospel, and joy: Christ the Savior is born! We know of it, we share it, and we rejoice! Christmas is a time of celebration. God’s Son came to bring salvation and redemption.
From Simeon, “a man in Jerusalem”, we can learn how to celebrate the coming of the Son of God: with depth and breadth.
“…a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon… he took Jesus up in his arms and blessed God and said…a light for revelation to the Gentiles.” (Luke 2)
Simeon did two things. He praised God: depth! And he proclaimed a mission: breadth!
The early Christian Church caught the vision. The believers studied the Word together, and shared the gospel—wrapped in love—with their neighbors. We, their children, are invited and appointed to do the same.
There lived in the second century a great defender of the Christian faith called Justin, who had earlier been a pagan Greek philosopher. He died ultimately, as a martyr for Christ, and hence became known as Justin Martyr. Justin had found his Savior through a conversation with an old fisherman of gentle face and demeanor when he walked along the seashore.
That was evangelism in the early church and it is still evangelism at its best today.