"There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah." Luke 2:25-26
The old man waited. Year after year, old Simeon clung to a slender thread of hope. The tree of Jesse – the image of the royal line of Israel – was now nothing but a withered stump: lifeless, powerless, oppressed. But God had promised a new, green shoot of peace and redemption springing up from the “stump of Jesse.”
Maybe this was the day? Why not now? But each new day brought only more hopelessness. Still, Simeon believed he would not die before seeing God’s redemption for all the nations.
These last two weeks, the nations have all gathered in Poland to address the global climate catastrophe. Some are desperate, like island and coastal nations facing inundation. Some are committed to action, despite severe resource constraints. Ours has undermined the effort, scorning science and touting the most polluting fuels.
And yet, listen! New stirrings of life are springing up back home. Congress is abuzz over the “Green New Deal,” a plan to transform our economy to a sustainable footing. In the House, a bill has been introduced – the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act – to adjust the price of fossil fuels for the harm now borne by all of us, while returning those cost increases to each American household.
To some of us, hope for our children’s world was beginning to look like the stump of a withered tree. But God is faithful to all his creation. Do not despair! The Redeemer of the nations is still Lord.
Sovereign Lord, you have promised peace in our Messiah, Jesus the Redeemer. You have shown us your salvation, which you offer to all people. In him, we see your light, your glory, and the hope of all your creation.