Woodlawn Baptist Church
December 11, 2005
Children’s Choir Cantata
This morning we have been invited to listen: to listen to the story of a holy child sent to us down from heaven’s glory many years ago. He truly is Immanuel, the Son of God, the Messiah who came to redeem His people from their sins, and it has been such a great joy to hear these kids sing of that wonderful night long ago when the Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us.
The birth of the Messiah was an event that had been anticipated for hundreds of years as it was foretold through the prophets and in the Scriptures. God had promised a Savior, and as we have heard He gave that Savior in a most magnificent way, but so many people missed it. The reason they missed it was because they were not listening and they were not looking.
The Scriptures tell us though that after the days of Mary’s purification, when Jesus was about 40 days old his parents took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice to God as was prescribed in the Law. When they arrived at the temple, they met a man who was awaiting their arrival; a man who had been listening.
The man’s name was Simeon, and verse 25 says that this man was a just and devout man who waited for the consolation of Israel. We are told that the Holy Spirit was upon him as well. To say that he was just and devout is to say that he was holy: a morally upright man who was fully consecrated to God. He was a religious man, and it was his hope to see the Savior, the comfort of Israel.
In fact, verse 26 tells us that this was a sure hope because the Holy Spirit had made a promise to him that before he died he would lay eyes on the Messiah. He wasn’t some old kook who spent all his days wandering around the temple hoping to meet the Savior. He was a man who had studied the Scriptures that told when the Savior would be born, the same Scriptures that the wise men used to know when He would be born, and then, led by the Spirit of God according to verse 27 he waited at the temple for what he knew would occur: the Savior’s parents would bring Him there to offer Him to the Lord.
He wasn’t there because he had special revelation that no one else had – he was there to see the Savior because he had paid attention to what so many others had not taken the time to see. He was there because he listened to the voice that so many others had allowed to be drowned out by the hustle and bustle of life.
That day had finally come, and now in verse 28 Simeon stands in the temple of God, holding the only begotten Son of God, and as he does with great joy he blesses and praises God with these words,
“Lord, now lettest thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
Verse 33 says that when Joseph and Mary observed this and heard what he said they marveled, they were amazed at what was happening. But it didn’t end there. Simeon then blessed them and gave this message to Mary,