Summary: Make sure you try and wait and when the time has come, hopefully the Holy Spirit calls you to be like a prophet to someone and give him or her a new direction and bring him or her to the God of Israel.
Glory for the people Israel
- On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me A Partridge in a Pear Tree
- On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Eleven Pipers Piping
- 12 Days of Christmas Song
- 11th Day: 11 Pipers piping, the 11 faithful Apostles
- Total of 12 Apostles representing the wholeness of the people of Israel
- 12 tribes
- Anna: Asher, Psalm 1: "1Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked..."
- Jesus: Judah, the powerful "Young Lion"
- As of birth: Shepherds representing Israel
- Jesus was recognized by some in Israel and among some of the Gentiles: "a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel"
- As of birth: Wise Men representing Gentiles
Revelation to the Gentiles
- Simeon said to Mary: 34This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too."
- Look at Israel and learn from it
- Circumcision, covenant, being together, one people, one God
- do things right for your kids
- get prepared to provide everything for them: food, cloths, toys, school, college
- prepare them religiously: help your kids learn about the God of Israel through Sunday School, Confirmation Class, Retreats, possibly youth groups
- for some it hasn’t worked out: Sickness, educational struggles, criminal careers, no career at all
- religiously: lost faith, converted anywhere else
- parents do the best they can
- Mary and Joseph wanted to do things right for their son Jesus: "After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child"
- Right time, right thing to do
- two rites: purification for Mary and circumcision for Jesus
- Sacrificed two pigeons, Mary’s purification through immersion, Jesus belonging to the people of God through circumcision
- side note: we are talking about the only temple that has ever been true: the one in Jerusalem, for the living only
- Our passage closes: "39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. "
- So far so good, nice and orderly church people, wishing the best for their kids
- What made Jesus special though was not the proper rite alone but the presence of the Holy Spirit
- "27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple" announcing Jesus to be the Messiah of Israel
- "36There was also a prophet, Anna" announcing Jesus to be the redeemer of Israel
- Radicals, Fundamentalists
- They blessed him out of the ordinary
- The made the difference between Jesus and all the other boys who were circumcised that day
- Simeon has been waiting for the Messiah forever
- Anna has praised God in the temple for at least seven years
- They finally happened to receive to Long-Awaited Gift
- Waiting is tough
- Looking for distractions: ipod, cell phone, eating, smoking, reading
- Busyness is a distraction that helps us to loose our focus
- Mary and Joseph were busy doing the right things for their son
- Simeon and Anna waited for the Messiah to come
- It takes both: The sturdiness of a caring family and a prophetic spirit-filled call out of the ordinary
- Make sure you try and wait and when the time has come, hopefully the Holy Spirit calls you to be like a prophet to someone and give him or her a new direction and bring him or her to the God of Israel. Amen.