Immanuel Lutheran Church

Sermon

Christmas 1

"We are waiting. We have not forgotten."

Luke 2:25-32

December 28, 2014

It's hard to believe Christmas has come and gone. Although we are still in the 12 day cycle of Christmas, most of the world has moved on to post-Christmas sales, bowl games and preparations for New Year's celebrations. Although we have our calendars to mark both the passage of time and the important dates to come, we are so busy it seems that Christmas comes upon us so quickly. Today, we hardly have the sense of waiting and yearning.

Now, think of what it would be like to await an important day that wasn't marked on the calendar. This was the case of Simeon and Anna. They were anticipating the coming of the promised Messiah. The problem was they didn't know when He was coming. Thus, they watched and waited. The only clue was the promise given to Simeon that he wouldn't die until he'd seen the promised Christ.

Read Luke 2:25-32. 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."

Our Christmas waiting is over. Here it is the Sunday after Christmas. Shoppers are already crowding the malls for post-Christmas sales. There are piles of garbage bags on the curb. Life has returned to "normal." Life goes on. We settle into our daily routines. Christ has come. We are told that Christ is coming again. We are supposed to be waiting in expectant anticipation of this return in glory. Are we? Unfortunately, we tend to give lip service to the promises of God. Yes, He is coming again. "Whatever."

We are not unlike the people at the time of Jesus' birth. Most had settled into their routines. They went through the proper motions of worship and made their sacrifices at the Temple. Yet, they seemed to have forgotten the promises of God to give them a Messiah, their Savior. Oh, they understood all of that in the back of their minds, but they'd pretty much given up actively waiting for the coming of the Christ. They share our "whatever" attitude. "Call me when He shows up."

There were exceptions of course. We meet two of them in Luke's Gospel. Simeon and Anna were actively awaiting the coming Messiah. They had not forgotten God's promises. It had been revealed to Simeon by the Lord that he would not die until he had seen the promised Messiah with his own eyes. He was waiting. He had not forgotten the promises of God. 

So it was that he watched and waited.

One day while he was worshiping in the Temple, he was led by the Holy Spirit and he found the Child in His mother's arms. With great joy, he took the Child in his arms and praised God for keeping His promises. The Lord had not forgotten His people. Simeon held and beheld His Savior. For Simeon, the waiting was over. God had not forgotten. He kept His promise.

Anna had received no direct promise that she wouldn't die until she had seen the Messiah. She, like others of the faithful, was simply waiting. She awaited with both longing and expectation. Even in her advanced age, she searched the Temple daily for promised One of God. Like Simeon, she was drawn by the Holy Spirit through the crowds in the Temple to the young couple with the baby. When she heard Simeon's song of praise, she understood. The long-awaited promise of God was here. Anna's waiting was over. The Lord had kept His promise to His waiting people. He had not forgotten.

In the midst of the post-Christmas shopping frenzy, as the decorations come down and the gifts are packed away, can we still say "we are waiting, we have not forgotten?" We have celebrated the coming of the promised Christ in His humility. Are we still awaiting His coming again in glory? Do we simply give lip service to the promises of God without any expectation they will actually happen?

Our prayer is that we will be counted among the faithful. It may be that, like Simeon and Anna, we will behold His coming in glory while we're still alive on this earth. We may not live to see the fulfillment of the promise that Christ will come again in all His glory. Nevertheless, we pray that we are among the faithful who waited but did not behold the promised Christ as did Simeon and Anna.

With the Psalmist, we say "my soul waits for the Lord more than they who watch for the morning, yes, more than they who watch for the morning." By God's grace we will be faithful in our waiting. By God's grace we will not forget any of His promises. By God's grace, we will see their fulfillment.

As we prepare to end one year and begin another, we pray that the Lord will help us to remember all of His promises to us. Jesus Christ has come. He is arisen. He is coming again. We are waiting. We have not forgotten. Amen.


September
09/24/2017
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09/03/2017
August
08/27/2017
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July
07/30/2017
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June
06/25/2017
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May
05/21/2017
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April
04/23/2017
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March
03/26/2017
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February
02/26/2017
02/05/2017
January
01/29/2017
01/22/2017
01/15/2017
01/08/2017
01/01/2017

December
12/25/2016
12/18/2016
12/11/2016
12/04/2016
November
11/27/2016
11/20/2016
11/13/2016
11/06/2016
October
10/30/2016
10/23/2016
10/16/2016
10/09/2016
10/02/2016
September
09/25/2016
09/18/2016
09/11/2016
09/04/2016
August
08/28/2016
08/21/2016
July
07/31/2016
07/24/2016
07/17/2016
07/03/2016
June
06/26/2016
06/19/2016
06/05/2016
May
05/29/2016
05/22/2016
05/15/2016
05/08/2016
05/01/2016
April
04/17/2016
04/10/2016
04/03/2016
March
03/27/2016
03/20/2016
03/13/2016
03/06/2016
February
02/28/2016
02/21/2016
02/17/2016
02/14/2016
02/07/2016
January
01/31/2016
01/24/2016
01/03/2016
01/01/2016

December
12/27/2015
12/20/2015
12/13/2015
12/06/2015
November
11/22/2015
11/15/2015
11/08/2015
11/01/2015
October
10/25/2015
10/18/2015
10/11/2015
10/04/2015
September
09/27/2015
09/20/2015
09/13/2015
09/06/2015
August
08/30/2015
08/23/2015
08/16/2015
08/09/2015
08/02/2015
July
07/26/2015
07/19/2015
07/12/2015
07/05/2015
June
06/28/2015
06/21/2015
06/14/2015
06/07/2015
May
05/31/2015
05/24/2015
05/17/2015
05/10/2015
April
04/19/2015
04/12/2015
04/12/2015
04/05/2015
March
03/29/2015
03/22/2015
03/15/2015
03/08/2015
February
02/15/2015
02/15/2015
02/08/2015
02/01/2015
January
01/25/2015
01/25/2015
01/18/2015
01/11/2015
01/04/2015

December
12/28/2014
12/21/2014
12/14/2014
12/07/2014
November
11/23/2014
11/16/2014
11/09/2014
11/02/2014
October
10/12/2014
10/05/2014
September
09/28/2014
09/21/2014
09/14/2014
09/07/2014
August
08/31/2014
08/24/2014
08/17/2014
08/10/2014
08/03/2014
July
07/27/2014
07/20/2014
07/13/2014
07/06/2014
June
06/29/2014
06/22/2014
06/15/2014
06/08/2014
06/01/2014
May
05/11/2014
April
04/27/2014
04/20/2014
04/13/2014
04/06/2014
March
03/30/2014
03/23/2014
03/16/2014
03/02/2014
February
02/02/2014
January
01/26/2014
01/19/2014
01/12/2014
01/05/2014