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1905 Service

21 DEC 2008
• Videos (start at 1855)

• Welcome (when CH Christensen gets up to welcome)

• Song

• Song

• Prayer (CH Banks)


Go
Live • Song

• Song

Go live to Elf
video clip (turn Are You Ready For Christmas?
out lights)

Luke 2:25-32

• Introduction

Go Live o Are you ready for Christmas?

o I don’t know what you do to get ready for Christmas, but in my house it

takes us a month to get ready for Christmas


 My wife is somebody I like to call a Christmas fanatic

• The day after thanksgiving, she begins the process of

transforming our home into the north pole

o When we moved to Fort Drum, the movers on both

ends were absolutely amazed at the amount of boxes

labeled Christmas

 When they realized we owned 5 Christmas

trees, we began to get strange looks

o All of our books come off the book shelves to be

replaced by my wife’s collection of santas, which now

number over 500

o Everything hanging on our walls is replaced with

something Christmas oriented

o Nativity displays are all over the house

o There are lights inside and outside

 I like to say our home looks like Santa threw up

o I’m sure all of you prepare for Christmas in varying degrees of insanity
 While decorating is fun and can become a great tradition preparing

for the reason we celebrate this holiday is so much more

important?

o Tonight we’re going to examine someone who was spiritually ready for

Christmas in Luke 2:25-32 (Read)

 As we examine Simeon in these verses the promise of and praise

for Christmas will become very clear.

 Pray with me as we prepare ourselves to receive God’s instruction

Have you heard…

• The promise of Christmas (25-26)

o Is there anyone here tonight who has never made a promise or had

someone make a promise to you?

 Of course not.

 We’re all very familiar with the concept of a promise

 We make promises about all kinds of things

• Some of those promises are small promises

o I might promise to take out the trash or not leave my

dirty laundry on the floor.


o If I break those promises from time to time, my wife

will be upset, but she’s not going to be devastated

• Other promises are big promises

o When we get married we promise to love, cherish and

be faithful to our spouse

o If that promise is broken even once, it will most

certainly be devastating

 There is also often an anticipation associated with a promise

• I know if I promise to take one of my children to the park on

a certain day, they anticipate that day and ask again and

again when we’re going.

 As we will see in these verses, the promise of Christmas is a big

promise and it’s full of anticipation

o The first thing that we should notice in this passage is the description of

Simeon

 There are two things we can learn about him

 He is righteous

• What does it mean to be righteous


• We could spend all night defining the word, but what it really

boils down to, is that Simeon was right with God

o There was nothing between him and God

o This doesn’t necessarily mean that he never sinned,

but when he did fall, he repented and got right with

God again

• While this might seem like a fairly simple statement that’s

really no big deal, in reality it is a very big deal

o Consider that he is being described as righteous by

God himself

 Yes, Luke is the writer, but he writes under the

inspiration of the Holy Spirit

 It’s one thing for a person to describe another

person as righteous

 It’s much different when God describes a

person this way because God is the author of

righteousness.

 He is also described as devout

• Again, we could spend a lot of time defining this word


o A simple definition for it, though , is devoted

• This is a man who was devoted to his relationship with God

o Again this seems simple and maybe even common,

but it’s not

• God is calling this man devout

o Think about it for a moment

 It’s pretty easy to make other people think

you’re a devout person

 You can do and say all the right things in

public, but have a private life that is anything

but devout

 Other people will never know

o God, however, see the heart

 He knows our most private thoughts and

emotions

o For God to call Simeon devout, it means that he was

100% committed to God

 It’s important that he’s righteous an devout to us today


• When we consider if we’re ready to celebrate Christmas,

Simeon is a trustworthy example for us to examine

• We can be confident that what he did is something God will

be pleased to see us apply to our lives today

o Now we find out about the promise

 The test tells us Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel

• Immediately we see the anticipation

o Simeon was waiting for something

 This implies two things

• He expected something to happen

• He knew there was nothing he could do

to make it happen

 So, he waited

 He was waiting for the consolation of Israel

• The word consolation carries with it the idea of comfort and

solace.
o More specifically, he was waiting on the one who

would bring comfort to God’s people, the promised

messiah

 We know this because the text tells us that the

Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon, he

wouldn’t die before he had seen the Christ, the

messiah.

o Have you ever considered Christmas in that context?

 Christmas, the arrival of the savior, the

incarnation, the miracle of God becoming

human and entering this world as a baby is

intended to bring us comfort

 When you think about it, how could it not bring

us comfort?

• The scope of the promise is not just big

o It is huge

• The promise has been kept

 What could be more comforting than the

assurance of such a big promise being fulfilled

o The promise of Christmas is a promise of comfort for God’s people


 It is a huge promise

 It was anticipated

 It has been fulfilled

If you’ve heard the promise of Christmas, then you should be prepared to offer God

all…

• The praise for Christmas (27-32)

o When it comes to celebrating Christmas, it seems like every family has

their own traditions

 Some of those things are common among many people

• Going to church

• The giving of gifts

• Decorating

• A large meal

• Reading the Christmas story

 Other traditions are not so common

• My wife’s family has this game they play


o They don’t know why they do it or where it came from,

but they still do it

 Basically, they try to say the phrase,

“Christmas box on you” to each person in the

family, before it is said to them

 As you can imagine, this tradition is very

confusing to outsiders

 Simeon also celebrated Christmas, but he did so with praise to God

and we can learn a lot from his example

o The first thing we notice about Simeon’s celebration is the place of praise

 The text tells us that Simeon was moved by the Spirit to go to the

temple

• Remember what the temple represented to a Jew at this

point in history

o They believed that this was truly the place where the

Spirit of God resided

o It was like this was the one place people could go to

meet with God


• Whether the Spirit told him to go there or caused him to want

to commune with God and he knew the temple was the right

place to so, we can’t know

o The important thing is concept of the place of praise

for Christmas

 While the temple was the place for people to

meet with God at that time, today the place is

much different

 God no longer resides in any particular building

on this earth

• God lives in the heart of every believer

• Today, the place of praise is in our

hearts

o The next thing we notice is the position of praise

 Imagine the scene with me for a moment

• Simeon is in the temple

o Maybe, he was reading scripture

o Maybe, he was praying

o Maybe, he was singing


o Regardless, he was there and anticipating the arrival

of the messiah

 I wonder if he expected a baby

 I kind of doubt it, because his contemporaries

all expected a heavenly being

• Then Mary and Joseph enter the temple to do for Jesus what

the law required and offer a sacrifice to God for their firstborn

son

o It’s likely they weren’t the only couple there to do that

on that day

 They may have even entered among a group

of other parents

• Simeon sees them and he just knows

o He immediately approaches them

o He takes Jesus in his arms and praise God

 Do you see the position of praise in Christmas

• It is more important than anything

o Simeon immediately stopped whatever he was doing


o It’s not recorded that he greeted Mary and Joseph

o In fact, it’s not even recorded if he asked to hold

Jesus

 He simply walk up to them, took the savior in

his arms and praised God

 There was nothing more important to Simeon

than to praise God for the arrival of the

messiah

 There should also be nothing more important

to us.

o Then, there are four verses that contain a proclamation of praise

 Simeon proclaims that the Lord has fulfilled a personal promise to

him

• He is now at peace and ready to die

o It takes a lot for a person to make that claim

o More than anything else, it takes an assurance that

your position after death is secure


 If you believe in Jesus, you should be able to

praise God in the same manner, because your

position is secure

 In fact, I remember something a pastor of mine

once told me.

• He had found himself in a scary

situation, while on a mission trip

• It was one of those times when you stop

and wonder if you’re going to come

through alive

• He told me he remembered praying and

telling God that he was ready to die, but

he wasn’t anxious.

• He then explained the difference to me

o Being ready to die is a feeling of

security about eternity

o Being anxious to die is wanting to

get there right now


 Our praise for Christmas should be based on that everlasting

security that we have because God chose to come to this earth as

human being

 He even goes on to describe that security

• It is salvation

o Simeon knew that he had seen, in the baby Jesus,

salvation

 Somehow, he knew in that moment that this

child would be the sacrificial lamb of God who

would bring redemption to all who believed

• It is something that God had communicated he was

preparing for his people again and again

o Simeon knew that Jesus was the seed of Eve, who

would crush the head of the serpent, described in the

garden after the fall

o He knew that Jesus was the seed of Abraham who

would bless all the nations of the earth

o He knew that Jesus was the promised messiah in the

prophets
o He knew that Jesus was the heir to the Davidic throne

and the fulfillment of God’s promise of an eternal

Davidic ruler

• He also knew that Jesus was not only the savior of the Jews,

but the savior of all people

o The praise for Christmas has priority over everything else

 It is a praise that should take place in the heart of every believer

 It is a praise that is built on the security of eternal salvation.

• Conclusion/Application

o So, are you ready for Christmas?

o Are you anticipating the promise of Christmas in the same manner as

Simeon?

 Do you look forward to it?

 Are you waiting for it?

• Does it show?

o Are you excited about celebrating the savior’s birth?

 Do you talk about it with excitement?


 Do you think about it with excitement?

o Or have you let your circumstances get in the way?

 Have you tried to ignore it?

 Have you avoided discussions about

Christmas?

 Have you put it “out of your mind, so to speak?

 Anticipate Christmas, wait for it with the same devoted attitude as

Simeon.

o Are you comforted by the promise of Christmas?

 Does the fact that God has fulfilled such a big promise for you bring

you comfort?

• Is it something you cling to in times of loneliness, fear and

sadness?

 Or does Christmas make you uncomfortable?

• Does it bring more sadness and make you feel more lonely

 Depend on the fulfilled promise of Christmas to comfort you in your

times of need.

o Are you prepared to praise God for Christmas?


 Is your physical location stopping you from that praise?

• Or are you praising God with same fervor as you would on

any other Christmas because that place of praise is in your

heart?

• Praise Him this Christmas, regardless of your physical

location

 Is praising God for Christmas the most important thing you’ll do to

celebrate?

• Is it at the top of your list?

o Does it show?

 Do you talk about praising God for Christmas?

 Do you think about?

• Make praising God for Christmas a priority?

 Is your praise for Christmas based on the everlasting eternal

security that is found in Jesus?

• Do you praise God because, while you may not be anxious,

you are ready for eternity?

o If not, why don’t you change that tonight?


 You see it’s almost impossible to consider the

birth of Jesus without considering the reason

he was born

 He was born to die

• In his death, he took the punishment for

our sin so that we would never have to

experience spiritual death

• But, He didn’t stay dead

o In his resurrection he defeated

death

 All it takes to be ready for eternity is a belief or

trust that Christ’s death was sufficient to pay

the penalty for your sin and his resurrection is

sufficient to allow you to experience a new life

as well.

o If you have never trusted Jesus for that comfort, for

that security, what better time is there to do so than

right here right now

• I want to give you the opportunity to do that tonight.

o As we sing our last song, I’m going to remain up front


o If you would like to pray and tell God that have placed your trust in Him for

salvation, come up front during the song and I’ll pray with you

 There is no better way to get ready for Christmas than to place your

faith and trust in Jesus.

• (Prayer)

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