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Summary: An advent sermon based on the Moving Marvelous Message of Christams

So how goes it with your GIFTS. You got those Christmas presents all wrapped up and under the tree, or do you still have a few of them to get?

Well if you are like Leanne and I , every year we say to “GET DONE EARLY”

SHOPS = MAD HOUSE. Even queues at the toilets. The walk ways in the malls just don’t seem wide enough etc etc

CUM only relatively quiet store in the whole of Cresta.

IN 336 A.D., THE FIRST RECORDED CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS ON

DECEMBER 25 TOOK PLACE IN ROME. But the tradition of gift giving goes back

even further than this = WISEMEN

During a school play near London, three six-year-old boys acted out the role of the wise men. As they presented their gifts at the nativity scene, each boy stepped forward and stated what they were offering to Christ. The first held out his arms and said, “Gold.” The second boy knelt down and said, “Myrrh.” The last boy stepped forward and declared, “Frank sent this.”

But Christmas is mostly about WAITING. THE ANTICIPATION. We wait for it the whole year don’t we? When it comes we make comments like “I cant believe its that time of the year again.”

ADVANCE

When we are kids we wait for Santa to come. We couldn’tt wait for him to arrive. Letters are written to him from thousands of children asking for those gifts.

These letters can be quite amusing. But once the letters are in, the waiting begins.

I think the biggest LET DOWN IS BOXING DAY. So much work, so many gifts and planning and Christmas lunches and and and and on the 26th its all over. The waiting is all over for another year.

THIS MORNING THOUGH I WANT TO CHAT A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ANOTHER

KIND OF WAITING AND PREPARATION. NOT THE GIFTS OR THE LUNCHES

OR THE CRACKERS OR THE TREE.

TURN WHILE I TALK TO LUKE 2

Can you imagine the kind OF PREPARATION AND WAITING THAT WENT ON

JUST BEFORE CHRIST WAS BORN? THERE WAS A WHOLE NATION WAITING

FOR HIM.

Two people in particular were waiting. They don’t often get mentioned, so I thought we could look at them today.

ADVANCE

The first is Simeon: Luke 2:25 (WAITING)

ADVANCE

The second is Anna Luke 2:38 (LOOKING FORWARD)

Luke uses a Greek word of anticipation that identifies them as waiting with expectation for the coming of the Messiah, or Savior. It literally means that they were “alert to His appearance, and ready to welcome Him.”

Lets first take a brief look at SIMEON.

Luke 2:25. “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon Him.” Simeon was righteous before people, and he was devout in His relationship with God.

He longed to see the Messiah so much that God even made a promise to him.

READ LUKE 2:26

Things WEREN’T GOING REAL WELL FOR THE NATION OF ISRAEL:

They HADN’T HEARD FROM GOD for many years and were under Roman rule.

They had LOST THEIR POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE.

Were LIVING IN FEAR OF THE CAPABLE, CRAFTY, AND CRUEL KING HEROD.

Many were WONDERING IF THE MESSIAH WOULD EVER COME.

The Jews NEEDED COMFORT and Simeon’s expectation FOCUSED ON THE

COMFORT THAT CHRIST WOULD BRING. Among Jews of Simeon’s day one of the

popular TITLES OF MESSIAH WAS COMFORTER.

It strikes me that THE DESIRE TO BE COMFORTED IS A UNIVERSAL HUMAN

NEED. We all struggle with LONELINESS, EMPTINESS, INSECURITY, EVEN

DESPERATION. IN FACT, THE CHRISTMAS SEASON IS ONE OF THE MAJOR

CRISIS TIMES OF THE YEAR FOR DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE.

So here WAS MAN LONGING FOR CHRIST. When he finally looked at the baby

Jesus, now about 6 weeks old, he knew that God’s promise had been kept. HERE WAS

IMMANUEL, “GOD WITH US,” TO MAKE EVERYTHING RIGHT, TO PROVIDE

SIGNIFICANCE BY HIS PRESENCE, AND TO ELIMINATE REJECTION, FEAR,

AND LONELINESS. TO BRING COMFORT

WHEN YOU THINK SIMEON KNOW HE WAS LOOKING FOR COMFORT

LETS LOOK AT ANNA

Here was a woman WAITING FOR FORGIVENESS.

After her husband had died, she had dedicated herself to fasting and praying in the

temple. In fact, the Bible says that she never left the temple ¬ but worshipped day and

night.

She was looking forward to the same person as Simeon was, but with a different

orientation. Instead of looking for comfort, ANNA WAS LOOKING FOR

FORGIVENESS.

IN VERSE 38 Luke uses the word redemption. Take a look at verse 38: “Coming up to

them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who

were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”

When Anna saw Jesus, SHE GAVE THANKS TO GOD AND SPOKE OF HIM TO

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