Summary: 3rd sermon from 2008 Christmas series where we look at Christmas through point of view of Biblical characters, this is Simeon’s.
“Just What I Wanted”
Christmas Through Their Eyes Series
What is the perfect gift in your eyes?
For many, it usually it is something you really, really want.
Maybe that new TV, or a new car.
Perhaps it might be a long awaited trip or just a quiet evening alone.
Whatever the case, you open it and say, “This is just what I wanted!”
What is even better though, is when you get the perfect gift and you didn’t really realize what it was.
Example: Back in 2001 (I think), we were in Cincinnati with Brigitte’s family on Christmas eve for our traditional Christmas get together.
We were busy opening gifts, mostly for the kids, and just having a good old time.
A box came to me and it said to me from Brigitte and it felt pretty heavy…I wasn’t real sure what it was.
I opened it up and wasn’t sure what to expect, and inside was a brand new pair of Sonoma boots!
Yeah, boots…just what I wanted; OK, maybe not.
Brigitte sat there with a big old smile on her face, and I was thinking, “Baby, its boots, don’t be that excited.”
I put the box down and got back to taking pictures and Brigitte said, “Well, what do you think?” and I swallowed and said, “I like them…” while she sat there with an even bigger smile.
Finally she said, “Did you look in the box?” and I thought to myself, “Hello…boots! What is there to see?” but said, “Yes, I like them” instead.
And then she said something along the lines of “Do they fit?”…obviously wanting to get my then shoe salesmen urge to check sizes going, so I opened the box and check the size.
Weirdest thing, I checked the sizes and inside one of the shoes was a piece of paper, which didn’t seem right to me but made my wife smile a little bigger.
As I pulled it out she was now grinning from ear to ear and much to my surprise I found the print out proof of purchase for 2 tickets to see the Colorado Avalanche, my favorite hockey team, playing the Nashville Predators down at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
It was the perfect gift, and I didn’t even expect it.
This morning as we continue looking at Christmas through eyes of the characters we read about in Scripture, I want us to step into Simeon’s shoes.
Simeon, as we shall see, was the temple worker who had the privilege of dedicating a Jewish baby named Jesus.
The thing about this event was that it wasn’t just an accident or by chance that Simeon was there that day…in fact it was a Christmas gift for him that had promised to him and he had been waiting for.
In fact, it was the gift that Simeon always wanted.
Read Luke 2:21-38 and pray.
8 days after the first Jewish son was born he was to be presented for circumcision at the temple where he was to be dedicated by his parents to God.
The mother of the child was considered unclean for 7 days after giving birth according to the Law of Moses, so the 8th day was the first chance she had to enter into the temple.
A sacrifice was also required of the parents, a blood sacrifice or redemption, typically of a young bull or a lamb…but a poor couple could instead offer two young birds in exchange; and that is what Joseph and Mary brought that day.
The young carpenter and his bride had an ordeal in bringing their Son into this world, the whole manger in a barn situation that we all know about.
The trip to Bethlehem was probably also costly for them, and having barely more than nothing to begin with made this sacrifice a literal sacrifice for them
What they didn’t realize though was that God’s hand was still involved.
At the temple that day was Simeon and his wife Anna.
At this time the roster of temple workers in the priesthood was so long that nearly all of them had one opportunity to work only once in their life time…some more, some less.
Simeon was not a typical temple worker though because he had received a promise from God.
Read vs. 25-26.
God had promised Simeon a gift, the gift of seeing the Messiah…and you have got to believe that has he aged and was now called into his time of service, he had to doubt a little.
I know I would have.
But notice what it says in vs. 27-29.
The same Holy Spirit that revealed God’s promise to Simeon was now revealing the fulfillment of that promise to him as he held that Child up in dedication.