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 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:

DIV. 1: YOU WAIT FOR THE GIFT (vv. 25-26)

Exp: I don’t know how your kids are but my kids are ready to open their gifts NOW! I know Hank’s back there dreaming of getting and X-Box 360 (I’m actually dreaming @ it too). But before any of my kids find out what they’re getting for X-mas, they’re going to have to wait for it! We’ve still got another week to go.

A. In our text, we’re told that Simeon was “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” Now what in the world does that mean? It’s important for you to know that during this time there was a great expectation that a world leader was @ to be born in the land of Israel.

1. You may ask, “Why were people expecting it?” The answer is b/c people all across the world were somewhat familiar w/the OT prophecies concerning the birth of a Messiah, a Savior of the world.

a. You see, at this time there were many Jews living throughout the Roman Empire and their beliefs had spread to other people. Faithful Jewish people knew the prophecy that came from Dan. 9: 25-27 that spoke of a Messiah being born.

b. And when the #’s mentioned in these verses were added up it came out to around the time of when they were living. So they knew, according to Scripture, that the Messiah was @ to be born.

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