Faithlife Sermons

Original Playlist Part 4

Original Christmas Playlist  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We see true Christmas spirit in Simeon who's identity came from God's glory, his purpose from God's grace, and his hope came from God's salvation.

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Introduction:

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Luke 2:22–38 ESV
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 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 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. 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. 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, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 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 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
It’s Christmas Eve. And by now your Christmas playlists have gotten their use no doubt.
We’ve said that the best way to get into the Christmas mood is to start listing to that Christmas playlist.
But we’ve also said that the best way to get true/genuine Christmas spirit is to go back to the original Christmas playlist.
Review: 1. Worship and delight out of our need (Magnificat) 2. Believing and singing (Benedictus) 3. We can have peace because God’s favor rests on us (Gloria) 4. this week the fourth song … (Nunc Dimittis) [but first]
Breaking News: Number 1 Christmas song this year, “All I want for Christmas is You.” Great song by Mariah Carey.
But the funny thing is that this song for most people is totally not true.
Well here we meet a man who really does only “want you for Christmas”. Simeon, who has lived his life waiting and wanting just one thing: to behold the Messiah. And God has promised him this one thing. And when it happens, what does he do? Breaks out into song! [Lukes intro is like a Broadway musical]
Here with Simeon and in his song, we see another glimpse into true/genuine Christmas Spirit
Main Idea: We see true Christmas spirit in Simeon who's 1) identity came from God's glory, 2) his purpose from God's grace, and 3) his hope came from God's salvation
Summary: Simeon’s identity was found in the “glory of Israel”, his purpose was found in bringing “light to the Gentiles”, and his hope can now rest because “his eyes have seen your salvation”.

1. His Identity Came From God's Words

In this passage we meet Simeon. But all we are told about him is 1) He is devout/righteous 2) he’s waiting to see the Messiah 3) the Sprit of God is upon him. That’s it!
So all we know about Simeon is what God’s word says about him.
“The passage does not state that he was invested with any particular office; for example, that of a priest. He was apparently what we today would call a “layman.” (Hendriksen)
“The passage does not state that he was invested with any particular office; for example, that of a priest. He was apparently what we today would call a “layman.” (Hendriksen)
Even his name: “Simeon” was an extremely common name during the time.
“Simeon” was an extremely common name during the time.
So Simeon’s entire existence on earth is defined by what God’s word says about him.
If you were completely and totally defined by what God would say about you, what would it be?
Illustration: “Here lies …” what would you like that to say for you? … recent funeral where the children of a man I knew could only say critical things about their father … terrible!
Illustration: Tombstone: “Here lies __________” what would you like that to say for you? … recent funeral where the children of a pastor I knew could only say critical things about their father … terrible!
Everything we know about Simeon comes from God’s word alone.
But we get the picture that Simeon is just fine with this:
Simeon sings: “You have prepared in the presence of all peoples … the glory of your people Israel.
He was a faithful and devout Israelite. So for Israel to finally have “glory” (honor, fame, splendor) meant he would as well. Israel’s glory mean God’s glory. It meant his glory.
--”You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”
Question: Who’s words define you? Yours? Others? Family? Friends? Enemies?

2. His Purpose Came From God’s Grace

When I think about this song, I can’t help but think about how strange it sounds to us. “Yay, I get to die now!” The reason Simeon can rejoice in this, is because his life is centered on God’s promises and purposes.
Jesus is not only the reason for the season, but the only reason for living...or dying as in Simeon’s case.
Jesus is not only the reason for the season, but the only reason for living...or dying as in Simeon’s case.
Simeon was satisfied in seeing Jesus, if only we were that satisfied with Christ. This satisfaction defined his purpose and life.
What would prompt you to say, "Okay, now I'm ready to die!" For Simeon it was seeing Jesus.
Jesus is not only the reason for the season, but the only reason for living...or dying as in Simeon’s case.
The word “dismiss” is a military word, used to describe a sentinel who has stood watch during the long hours of the night. Now at last as the sun comes up over the eastern horizon, he knows his work is done, and he goes to his commanding officer to be dismissed. Once dismissed, he goes back to his barracks to sleep.
Simeon’s sole purpose has been to bear witness that this little baby, Jesus, is in fact the savior we need.
That’s the way Simeon feels. The long wait is over, the years of anticipation have been fulfilled, his sentry duty is finished, for he has seen and personally held “the Lord’s Christ.”
Key Point: Simeon was satisfied in seeing Jesus. If only we were that satisfied with Christ. This satisfaction defined his purpose and life.
He was finally at peace and his heart is filled with hope because he knew that God has fulfilled His promise.
And out of this satisfaction comes purpose—and out of his purpose comes satisfaction.
Simeon’s sole purpose has been to bear witness that this little baby, Jesus, is in fact the savior we need.
He sings, “for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles”.
Simeon rejoices because he delights in God’s mission to give “light to the Gentiles.” To give grace to the outsiders, the foreigners, the “sinners”.
Question: What is your purpose?

3. His Hope Came From God’s Salvation

As far as we know, Simeon’s entire existence was an existence of waiting.
He didn't lead a movement. He didn't form a community, build a resume, or accomplish a bunch of great things. He watched. He prayed. He was doing something awesome that even he may not have understood.
But we are all called to wait!
“We are not in control, so we are all in the waiting business. We are to remain faithful and patient even when we do not have what we want yet.” John Ortberg
But waiting is soooo hard!
Illustration: It is Christmas Eve and there’s about 20 hours between us and the present unwrapping bonanza … and if you have kids around you are well aware of how hard it is to wait. Count how many times you hear, “When can we open the presents?”
Waiting is just hard for kids.
Illustration: My brother-in-law has a bad form of brain cancer. And as I’ve talked with him and Amanda’s sister, I’ve realized that a large part of their suffering right now comes from the constant waiting to hear results.
So how do we do it? How can we learn to wait like Simeon waited?
Illustration: patience = happy waiting” — how do we do this??
Hope allows us to wait patiently
Illustration: patience = happy waiting”
We can wait well like Simeon when:
We remember God’s Promises and Past Works
We have a clear and certain goal and prize before us.
Simeon sings, “my eyes have seen your salvation” (v. 30)
Simeon has been waiting on the prize … a prize that has been promised to him:
Verse 26, “... it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.”
And he has seen God work miraculously for his people in the Old Testament.
And because of this, Simeon had hope.
And now it has come. Jesus, this little baby.
We can have hope too.
God has declared to each and every one of us that salvation has come.
Each and every one of us can see God’s salvation.

Conclusion

You are not ready to die until you’ve embraced Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You may be ready to graduate, you may be ready to buy your first home, you may be ready to retire, you may be ready to do many things-but, friend, without Jesus you are not ready to die.
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