Summary: Even in Advent, the song of Simeon, does not appear as being festive; but it is necessary in the build-up to meet with Jesus; and I will warn you just now, it pushes our faith to the limit; but it does provide relieve.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent and the children this morning will be retiring to the hall to make our Advent wreath and they will bring it into the service after the Intercessions so that the first candle can be lit before we have communion.
Even thou today's is Advent, today’s theme, (the song of Simeon), does not appear as being festive; but it is necessary in the build-up to meet with Jesus; and I will warn you just now, it pushes our faith to the limit; but it does provide relieve.
So, let us start the service with the peace.
We meet in Christ's name. Let us share his peace.
The Gospel Reading.
Hear the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke Chapter 2 verses 22 to 40. Glory to Christ our Saviour.
Luke 2: 2 to 40
Give thanks to the Lord for his Glorious gospel. Praise to Christ our Lord.
“Please be seated, and join me in a short prayer.” In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit let these words bring you honour, and prepare us to live both in this world in which you have given us and the world to come. Amen.
Yes, it is nearly that time of year again, Christmas, and today we start in the preparation for this big event. In some ways it feels it has come really quickly, yet in others a lot has happened in the last 12 months.
One big question that most people face is deciding what they want for Christmas. We all want something to celebrate the event.
Me, I want a living room with one door. This may sound like a strange request, but bear with me, as we have two doors in ours, and my son Craig, who is about 20, is very popular in the village, we have all his pals coming to visit him every night of the week and it is not unusual for about 10 of them to walk in the kitchen, through the living room, then into the hall, and walk up stairs to his room. Then, in what seams like 5 minutes, they troop all the way back again; but not at the same time, normally muttering something as they come and go. And while some are walking out, more start walking in. This goes on all night; in mean I am usually exhausted after a hard day, half asleep in front of the TV, and yet I feel as if I am in the middle off the high street. It is absolute murder.
We have a big Alsatian dog, and it is fed up with them as well. All she now does is raise her head and sighs, “Another one”, “shut the door behind you”.
So for me, for me personally, me selfishly, I want a living room with one door in it, (preferably with a key), and keep all that lot out.
But Christine will not give into this, she likes all the comings and goings; because she can keep an eye on Craig, and see who he is running with; and she can normally work out what they are up to. So we have a conflict of interests here; both of us have a point; but it usually ends in me being told to keep my thoughts to myself.
But think about it, if you could ask God for anything in world, what would you ask for? …… And then think, if you got that thing, would it cause a conflict with someone else; even though you asked for a something seeming innocent, and worthwhile.
This is a more difficult question to answer than you think, because basically we are all concerned with ourselves to one degree or another, and I have tried to highlight this by giving you a description of our living room at night, which was exaggerated. They come in 5 at a time.
Now, let me ask you a different question; but not from your perspective but from God’s. What could you give God, say, for Christmas?
I do not know about you, but that is a question I ask regularly, and I really struggle to answer it. Just what exactly could we do for him that he would like me us do, or wants us to do, something that would suit the both of us; something that would match our wills with his.
Today’s Gospel reading does just that as we hear the song of a man who did something that both he and God wanted.
This man was called Simeon, a Jew living in Jerusalem. He was most probably an old man by the time Jesus was born, but we know he was a man of impeccable character who lived a righteous life, devoted to God.