Summary: Righteousness, Hope, A Savior, Promises Fulfilled
THE SONGS OF CHRISTMAS - Simeon’s Song
December 24, 2017
Luke 2:22-35 (p. 716)
Hope is defined as: “The expectation of something happening.” It’s very different from wishing or dreaming…because with “hope” there is a true belief that what you’re hoping for will really happen.
Let me give you an example of the difference between real hope and dreaming or wishing.
Suppose you’re a simple 35 year old guy living in your parents basement and working at Waffle House (nothing wrong with either of these). I love waffles…and I live in my parents basement :) So, don’t get me in trouble!
But you dream about meeting and marrying Miss America. You constantly dream that Miss America will walk into Waffle House, see the way you flip those eggs…she is amazed at how you cover, smother, cap, top and grill the hash browns…so much so she runs into your arms and down the aisle with you. Nice dream…but the chances of it really happening are zero!
Hope is different…It’s looking forward to something you know is going to happen…It’s expectant waiting.
Hope is what children will experience tonight that keeps them awake…Do you remember as a child being so excited about Christmas morning that you could hardly stand it? You knew it was coming but you could hardly wait for it to get here…that’s hope!
In Luke Chapter 2 there is an old man who had lived his entire life with that kind of hope…the expectance of Christmas…Simeon understood God’s promise of a Savior coming to this world…He looked forward to this event with hope that enveloped everything he did. God’s Word tells us…
“There is a righteous and devout man named Simeon…he was waiting, for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It also had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Christ, the Lord’s Messiah.” (v. 25-26)
8 days after Jesus is born in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph bring him to the temple in Jerusalem…This is an important event for first born sons…The circumcision is a fulfillment of the covenant as one of God’s people…Mary and Joseph bring an offering of 2 young pigeons or doves…they are not wealthy people…but they are obedient people.
As they fulfill this commitment to God, the Holy Spirit urges Simeon to go into the temple…I’m not sure how many children Simeon has held and blessed in these same circumstances…but this is different…he takes Jesus into his arms…and God confirms that he is holding the Messiah…the Promised One…He is holding his hope.
Simeon’s song of praise is a song of hope.
I. GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised you may now dismiss your servant in peace.”
The word “sovereign” means “all powerful with all authority…independent of all others.” Simply put: “God is in complete control.”
Simeon has waited patiently for God to keep the promises he made through His prophets in the Old Testament…and the personal promise He had made to him concerning him seeing the Christ before he died.
He has lived his life hoping and preparing for this day…and now Simeon says “It’s here…now I can die in peace.”
The Christmas story is all about hope…it’s the message that “God keeps His promises.”
You remember the angels message to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born?
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you…He is Christ, the Lord.”
What hope would we have if our Bibles ended at Malachi? If there were no gospels…If there were no letters from the Apostle Paul to churches who needed reminders of who Jesus is…If there was no revelation from John the beloved about God’s victory over Satan and the promise of heaven purchase for us through the Lamb that was slain?
Simply put…there would be no hope.
Christmas is the message that “our all powerful God promised a Savior, for all people…no matter who you are, what you’ve done, what you look like…no matter how much you’ve sinned or how many times you’ve blown it…there’s an answer…there’s hope…there’s forgiveness. A Savior has been born to you and for you - He is Jesus Christ, the Lord.
A woman named Anne Willey took her 2 little children to Texas to be with her parents during Christmas…Her husband is stationed in Europe during World War 2.
And they prepared for Christmas and got the tree up and all the gifts bought and were enjoying the joy of Christmas, almost putting aside the worry of the war. When one week before Christmas they got that dreaded knock on the door and the terrible telegram greeting. And the mother had to tell the children that “daddy wouldn’t be coming for Christmas ever.” And then Anne went up to her room to weep alone. And grandma and grandpa debated about what to do and finally they decided to take down the Christmas tree and the decorations and put the presents away. When Anne came out of the room and saw the empty spot she said “Mother what have you done.” And her mother said, “You’re so brokenhearted, your father and I talked and decided this is no time for Christmas.” And Anne said, “Oh, no mother, bring the tree back, Christmas was made for times such as these.”