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Summary: The last of Luke's four songs celebrating the incarnation of Christ is the Song of Simeon. The righteous priest long anticipated the birth of the one who would bring salvation to the Jews and to the whole world.

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Introduction

Well, I was really thinking about another carol for all of us to sing together this morning but I thought maybe I would give you a break. The only reason is because I want your voices rested so you can join us for caroling at the Golden Living Center and Bristol Manor after church today.

Let me also express my thanks for those who planned, baked and attended her birthday celebration last Sunday evening. We are thankful for your kindness and the demonstration of love.

As many know, we have been studying the four songs recorded in the first two chapters of Luke. Each song was sung about the promise of or the reality Christ’s coming to earth. We have heard Elizabeth’s song of praise that her son John would be used to announce the Christ. We heard Mary’s song of gratitude for being chosen of God to carry the Christ. We heard the angels sing to shepherds proclaiming the birth of Christ.

Today, we will hear the final song of Luke’s record of Christ’s birth – Simeon’s Song.

The Story

Mary and Joseph had travelled to Bethlehem as part of Caesar Augustus’s decree that the whole Roman world be taxed and counted. But more importantly they were fulfilling the prophetic word of Micah that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem

While in Bethlehem Mary gave birth to her son. Magi from the East and shepherds from the hills surrounding Bethlehem visited the child. Gifts were offered. Angels sang. Stars appeared in the sky. It was an event like no other in history. Emmanuel – God with us – had arrived and the world would never be the same.

After the Magi left and the shepherds returned to their flocks, Mary and Joseph were left to raise the child they had now been blessed with.

As we all know Mary and Joseph were devout Jews. Because of their faith they knew there were certain obligations they would have to fulfill in order to satisfy the Law of Moses. We find the first of these obligations in Luke 2:21

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

On the eighth day Joseph, or a hired rabbi called a Mohel, circumcises the newborn child.

• Even though the child was the Son of God – it was proper for Him to fulfill all the Law so His later testimony among the people would be legitimate.

• He was circumcised as an outward sign of His separation from the Gentiles and entrance into the community – he was “made like unto his brethren.” He was truly God incarnate in flesh.

• He was given the name JESUS – JEHOVAH IS SALVATION!

The second rite Joseph and Mary were obligated to fulfill is called Redemption of the Firstborn (cf. Exodus 13:2, 11-16; Numbers 18:15-16).

Look at Luke 2:22-23.

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”


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