Summary: Waiting on God
Sermon for Sunday December 27, 2015
What happened Next? Luke 2:22-35
Well, it is the Sunday after Christmas. Many pastors have a hard time figuring out what to preach this particular Sunday. Often, we’ll hear a year-end message – a summary of all that God has done, and how we should be thankful. Other times, we’ll hear a year-beginning message – looking forward to the following year, and how we should have faith and hope. And I think both of these ideas are very good, and I’ve done both of them before, but this year I feel led in a different direction.
Last week both on Sunday and at our Christmas Eve service, we read parts of the Christmas story. And now, I want to continue it. I’d like to take a week or two to move on to the “what happened next” in the life of Jesus. And so we’re going to examine some texts and truths that may not be traditionally associated with the Christmas message, but happened immediately following it. And this week, we’re going to talk about when Jesus was still a baby.
We don’t know too much about Jesus’ childhood. There are only a small number of passages. Today, we’re going to examine one of these passages – before the childhood of Christ that would’ve involved him running around and playing and growing up, rather, he’s still a baby here. So I invite you to this morning to turn to Luke 2: beginning in verse 22.
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord")
24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law,
28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29"Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.
34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed
35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."
And so with our focus on Christ, I’d like to also examine this very old man. We have a very young Christ – by Jewish customs, only 40 days old, and Simeon, who we have inferred is near the end of his life. 2 different generations, and a remarkable meeting orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. And so the theme of our sermon today is “Waiting.” Do you ever have to wait?
I read a neat little article – I’m not sure if these numbers are scientific or not, but I found it interesting nonetheless. It’s an article about how we spend our time, assuming we live to the average life expectancy here in the states which is the upper 70’s.
I think it’s a low number, but the article said you’ll spend over 4 years in a vehicle before you pass away, waiting to get somewhere. You’ll spend 2 and a half years cooking, waiting to eat. You’ll spend 25 years sleeping, waiting to get up. You’ll spend over 10 years clocked in at work, waiting to not have to work anymore. Women may spend over 2 years in the bathroom. Men spend 2 years waiting for their wives in….yeah, nevermind. The same article somehow figured out that women may spend 1 entire year of their life deciding what to wear and trying on clothes and such. And of course, depending on what doctor and dentist and ologist and specialist you have, you’ll spend time waiting there. Well, let’s talking about:
Simeon – He knew how to wait