December 2014

Luke 2:22-40 “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. And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.  And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.”   ESV

A:  Christmas is Over.  Now what?

  1. After Jesus comes FOLLOW His law.
  2. After Jesus comes PRESENT yourself to the Lord…daily
  3. After Jesus comes GIVE to the Lord through His church
  4. After Jesus comes LISTEN to Him
  5. After Jesus comes GRAB ahold of Him
  6. After Jesus comes KNOW PEACE
  7. After Jesus comes TELL PEOPLE ABOUT HIM
  8. After Jesus comes GIVE THANKS
  9. After Jesus comes WORSHIP HYMN

B.   What will you do with Jesus?

  1. Will you diligently wait for Him?
    1. Simeon had a Word from God that his Deliverer was coming
    2. You have been waiting for Christmas morning every year since you were TWO
    3. Are you waiting for the return of Jesus?
  2. Will you live a life of faith and devotion as you wait for Him?
    1. Simeon was righteous and devout
    2. As kids our behavior always improved as we drew close to Christmas
      1. You know you CAN behave – WILL YOU?
    3. Will you be faithful to His Word and His Church as you wait on Him?
      1. Mary and Joseph went to church
      2. Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to God
        1. Presented His Son to Him
          1. God knew He was born
          2. This was about faith and obedience
        2. Simeon and Anna were in church
          1. They were there in faith
          2. They were there in obedience
  • Even though they had yet to experience what God had promised them
    1. Why are you in church?
  1. Will you worship Him as you wait for Him?
    1. This is hard
      1. We often are hurting while we are waiting
      2. We don’t like to wait
    2. Faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the EVIDENCE of things unseen.
      1. Faith cannot coexist with instant gratification

C.   After His Birth:

(Get your kids to church early and often)

Most of the world seems to get excited at Christmas time as we prepare and celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ!

Then the lights come down, the tree goes out and the wrapping paper gets thrown away.

Now what?  Most of the earth walk away from Jesus – WILL YOU?

  1. Realize who He is
    1. Consolation of Israel
      1. Comfort of Israel
      2. Solace of Israel
  • Imploration of God’s people
  1. Exhortation
    1. Message of warning or encouragement
    2. Designed to motivate people to ACTION
  2. It is ok and right to know that Jesus came to set captives free
  3. It is right to know that Jesus came to bring healing and hope to a wandering and hurting people
  4. It is right and ok to believe that Jesus is on your side and will never, ever leave you or forsake you
  5. IT IS ALSO RIGHT to believe that Jesus, God Almighty, EXPECTS you to be faithful and obedient
    1. Simeon was righteous and devout
      1. He was filled with God’s Spirit
      2. He was waiting for everything God had promised him
    2. Anna was a faithful servant and worshiper
      1. She LIVED in church
        1. Not figuratively
        2. LITERALLY
          1. Day and night
            1. Worshiping with fasting and prayer
          2. As we survey this year that is passing soon
            1. Do we find ourselves in the category of these saints
            2. Or do we find ourselves lacking?
              1. Now is the time and today is the day to MAKE THAT CHANGE toward God
                1. HE IS HERE!
              2. Believe in Him
                1. Grab hold of Jesus
                  1. Salvation from God
                  2. Light of God
  • Glory of God
  1. Word of God
  2. Creator
  3. Sustainer
  • Provider
  • Judge of all
  1. King
  2. Lord
  3. Healer
  • Our Banner
  • Our Hope
  • Whatever you are looking for or need
    1. Jesus is The GREAT I AM
  1. Be glad He is here
    1. Simeon and Anna were glad
      1. They had been waiting and believing
      2. God’s Redemption is here
        1. Messiah
        2. Deliverer
      3. Be about His business
        1. Get to Church
          1. Mary and Joseph took Jesus
          2. Simeon went regularly
  1. Giving thanks
  2. Giving Glory
  3. Giving
  4. Telling Others

silent night

This message was delivered in costume as a first person message

Silent Night?           Luke 2

I do not think so

There were too many people in town

There were people in every nook and crevice

There were the rich and poor

There were the well and the sick

There were the young and old

There were the good and the…..not so good

There were the clean and the unclean

There were the hygienic and the…..SHEPHERDS

This town was anything but quiet


Every spare inch of town was full!

I remember there was even a pregnant lady sleeping in a barn!

            It was so sad

I would have given up my room gladly, but my room was in the back yard of a distant relative with 50 other people, so……yea

This precious young lady, girl really, even gave birth amidst all the racket, livestock and nasty smells of that barn.

Her husband dutifully by her side trying to help but we all know how helpful men can be at times like these.

I think the whole city knew when the baby was born!  The animals seemed to shout!  The city seemed to become brighter!  We all knew that something had happened.,,,we were just not real sure what!

Then Shepherds came in from their fields – THEY LEFT THEIR SHEEP! and began to tell a story of bright lights, Angels in the skies and The Messiah …….. in a barn feeding trough….?

The anticipated King of our people ….wrapped in rags? No—no

BUT, we remembered the pregnant woman who was giving birth in the Holiday In Barn and thought…maybe…..just maybe…

So we led them there and watched as these shepherds – stinky men yes – BUT hard working men, strong men, self-reliant guys – real men …

They went up to the feeding trough and bowed down to worship this little, tiny baby – and through tear filled eyes shared their story.

There were many gasps and cheers – much excitement that night.  Many handshakes and hugs and hardy pats on the back for the husband….

But certainly not silence….EXCEPT FOR ONE…The Mother  – MARY was silent.

As she listened and thought about what was being told it looked like she was putting a puzzle together – maybe she had already known what would happen?  Maybe

But this night, she was the silent one.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will some day walk on water?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am

 Do you know?  Do you know that Jesus is still here for all people?  Rich and poor?  Red, Yellow, Black, Brown, Olive and White?  Clean and dirty? Sick and healthy?    Jesus has come – For YOU?!