Summary: Those that wait on the Lord are included in the kingdom.
Acknowledgement – I found great value in a Christmas Sermon series by Darren Ethier – A fellow contributor to this site. His sermons are called “Christmas Perspectives Series.”
To get everyone up to speed as to where we are for the sermon today. I have been sharing with you what I think might be the perspectives of people involved I and around the Birth of Jesus.
I started with Joseph and Mary and how they had a very different view of the Event than the culture of the day. I thought that their view was changed by because of the angel messengers that gave them a little peace and assurance that this was special and totally in line with God’s plan.
Another week we looked at the Shepherds and how they were considered the lowest of the low, untrustworthy and the ones invited to see the king of Kings and then to spread the good news. God choose them and it was up to them to respond.
Then last week we talked about the magi and King Herod. The magi were on a long spiritual journey to meet the King of Kings. Herod only wanted to dispose of the threat to the potential change in the way they always did things.
I encouraged everyone to consider your life a spiritual journey to meet our king face to face and to avoid the worldly Herod thinking.
Let me give some insight into why this series of messages needed to be preached. We live in a part of the world that places more emphasis on receiving than giving, More tinsel than time with family, and More Santa than Jesus. In the midst of the "good" things about Christmas we miss the most important – the BEST thing about Christmas – the birth of the savior of mankind that signaled in a concrete way the love God has for each one of us. I believe the biggest part of the loss of focus is that for most of us we have the feeling of been there, done that, I got the Wiseman costume. The gift that we celebrate as Christmas has become as old and stale as the video game pong. OR The aluminum Christmas tree with the rotating colored light. It has become handkerchief of socks to the world that lives on electronics.
I believe that it is important to call you to change your perspective of the Christmas Story from the comfortable familure annual visit to something more. By looking through the borrowed views of people in our scriptures, I hope you see some things for the first time. That you think, UH – I never saw that before….neat….sad… funny…anything that clicks in your brain to make the celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ new to you this year.
Our culture tells us about al the new stuff we need every year. So far I have been able to resist a Chea pet. But I saw them on a rack a Kmart the other day and I slowed and looked ant the different versions. I realized that I have been assimilated into briefly thinking about buying a Che Che Chea pet.
I have had my since of what a “quality” gift is dulled by the constant commercials where the people looked so happy opening such a gift. The commercials don’t make it true and the lack if commercialization of the story of Jesus does not make it less important.
So here we are the last Sunday before Christmas Eve and Day. So it is almost here. The celebration with family and friends.
Some people just can’t wait for Christmas. When I was a kid I could not wait for Christmas. I know my children have trouble with the concept of waiting for anything and Christmas brings out their nosey nature. When I come in at night it is worse than the Atlanta airport – Questions and searches..
They feel that they just can’t wait until Christmas to figure out the gifts.
Today we are going to look at the Christmas Story through the eyes of two people, a man and a woman, Simeon and Anna.
They are waiting to celebrate the arrival of the messiah. It seems that they have been waiting for years.
In our scripture this morning we have these two people that just appear out of nowhere to see the baby King. This set of events occurs because the visit to Jerusalem is required by Judaic Law.
Jesus would have been circumcised on the 8th day after birth in a private ceremony where they were staying or at the home of a Rabbi. This is the time when he would have been named, Jesus. The Hebrew form of the name Jesus is “Jeshua” (cf. Joshua), derived by the combination of two root words, meaning “the Lord” and “to save.” Thus, the Jesus meant “the Lord is salvation.”