Summary: What is it you’re looking forward to this Christmas? What kind of gift would you like to get? There’s a gift just waiting for you that can transform your life.
Intro: It’s always exciting thinking @ X-mas. For me, one of the fun parts of X-mas is just watching my kids get excited @ it. Let me share w/you some letters kids wrote to Santa Claus.
-“Dear Santa Claus, when you come to my house there will be cookies for you. But if you are real hungry you can use our phone and order a pizza to go.” The next letter says: “Dear Santa, I want a Puppy. I want a playhouse. Thank you. I’ve been good most of the time. Sometimes I’m wild.”
-A 4 year old wrote: “Dear Santa, I’ll take anything because I haven’t been that good.” And the final letter said: “Dear Santa, I’m not going to ask for a lot. Here’s my list: The Etch-A-Sketch animator, 2 packs of #2 pencils, Crayola fat markers and the big gift...my own color TV! Well, maybe you could drop the pencils; I don’t want to be really selfish.”
-Probably the hardest part @ X-mas for children is having to wait for it. I think there’s like a count-down to X-mas that starts around September. I’ll hear my kids ask me, “Dad, how many more days until X-mas?” I’ll say, “Just 87 more days! Not that much longer!”
-I remember when my sister and I were kids and we’d go to our grandparents home in Texas. We couldn’t wait to get there. As soon as my grandparents opened the door to their house we’d make a bee-line straight to the X-mas tree. We’d count to see who had the most gifts and then we’d look to see who had the biggest gift.
-But waiting to open those gifts just @ killed us! As of today we stand only 7 days away from X-mas. Some of you just can’t wait to see what you’re going to get. Others of you are probably thinking, “I better hurry up and do my X-mas shopping.” But waiting has always been a part of X-mas.
Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see the story of a man named Simeon who was eagerly awaiting that very 1st X-mas. There were a lot of things he was looking forward to on that day. Now let me ask you a couple of questions. What is it you’re waiting for this X-mas? What is it you’re expecting to receive?
-Are you looking forward to anything special this X-mas? Simeon was looking forward to seeing what his gift would be on X-mas.
TEXT: LUKE 2: 25-32
Bckgrd: At this time things really weren’t going all that well for Israel. They had lost their political independence and were living under Roman rule. They had a Roman puppet who served as their king. His name was Herod and was certifiably crazy. Although he was a great builder, he was mentally unstable and it didn’t give the people a whole lot of confidence.
-Then to top that off, it had been years since the people of Israel had heard from their God. There was @ a 400 year period of silence where God didn’t speak to His people thru a prophet. It left many people wondering if the Messiah would ever come.
-This is where Simeon comes into the story. Simeon was a Jewish man who was eagerly waiting for X-mas. He was waiting for the greatest gift ever to be given to man.
-When it comes to X-mas there are certain processes you go through w/your gifts. The 1st process is: