Summary: As we look forward to Christmas what are we searching for - will our eyes discern the Christ who was born as a baby in Bethlehem
Who is excited about tomorrow/ What are you excited about
In under 24 hours time the waiting will be over and Christmas will be upon us. And all those presents that you’ve been waiting for and dreaming about can be opened. Every family has different traditions, for example in Jayne’s family people always used to open the presents when they got up in fact at one time it was 5am , while in my family we waited till after lunch and then all the presents were distributed so now on Christmas restraining my wife from opening the presents and offending my family. But for now the waiting continues,
When I was younger I would spend Christmas time waiting for Father Christmas to come looking for him out of the window. Looking, waiting.
But this season of waiting goes beyond Christmas A recent survey showed that 94% of us are waiting for something – what are you waiting for in your life - the next year of school, then what, the GCSE’s, then what A Levels, then what . . a job . . . then what …Mr. or Miss Right . .then what … a promotion. ..then what a better area…. Then what children…. Then what retirement …. Then hat … then what …. Then ….what?
Most of us are waiting for something .. the next job, seeing our friends, exam results, the next holiday, a quieter time in life..
Life can seem a bit like a jigsaw puzzle where we keep looking for the next piece –Yet no sooner have we found a piece but we search for the next one. You see each time we get something we want it doesn’t take long before we are looking forward to the next thing.
And so this morning we’re going to us to look at a true story about a man who was looking and waiting for something. His name was Simeon . But what is he waiting or looking for … he is looking for a Christmas turkey was he waiting for Father Christmas … ….No
Here in the gospel of Luke we have this wonderful phrase “he was looking for the consolation of Israel.”,
Who here knows what consolation means?
Comfort and alleviation of that there would be better times ahead. And this was needed because they had lost their relationship to God and that a rescuer was to come and save them.
Simeon is pictured as a good man – but his life is not complete.
But he has been given a promise he has a meeting with God and the Holy Spirit has promised him that he would not die before he saw the Lord’s chosen one – so in the story he is waiting. – but his life is not complete. He is old in years – his time to leave the earth has almost come and life is not yet complete
And he is led to the temple. Now the temple in Jerusalem was generally a busy place – imagine a moderns day shopping centre – bit like Bluewater you wouldn’t find Mcdonalds or M&S, there but imagine a busy place with people going back and forth. And as he goes in he sees a family (a mother, a father and a new-born child.
And seeing them , Simeon’s heart beat faster!! He goes towards them and he gently takes Mary’s child in his arms. Simeon’s great dream was realized and the promises given him fulfilled! He realized the day of days had come!! The day he has waiting and longing for has arrived. And.
What was it old Simeon’s tired eyes saw? He saw, in this baby Jesus Christ, Luke records, God’s salvation his rescue plan for the whole world!!
READ THE PASSAGE : Luke 2:28-32
He adores the Lord’s Christ. In seeing Jesus he has seen salvation. What he has been waiting his whole life he has found. But also in seeing Jesus he has found peace. He can leave this earth in peace. In completeness.
There was but one piece missing in his story and in the temple in Jerusalem, he gazed upon the baby Jesus he realized the waiting was over and here in this tiny baby – fragile and vulnerable was light, salvation, peace and glory. And that is the message of Christmas – John 1:14
In that crowded city many others may have seen Mary and Joseph with their little new-born baby going to the temple that day - but that was all they saw. Just another couple doing their duty as obedient Jews, by taking their baby boy to be initiated at the temple. As Mary and Joseph, cradling their new-born child, pushed their way through the busy streets, even the people who brushed past them did not know what was happening. They did not know that God himself had come to them, and that in the arms of Mary, Salvation was at that very moment, passing them by!!