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Worth the Wait

December 24, 2015

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

Simeon-with-Jesus-2“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

Luke 2:28-32

In An Advent Meditation entitled  A Sky Full of Children  the late Madeline L’engle wrote:

Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for joy?

Power.  Greater power than we can imagine, abandoned, as the Word knew the powerlessness of the unborn child, still unformed, taking up almost no space in the great ocean of amniotic fluid, unseeing, unhearing, unknowing.  Slowly growing, as any human embryo grows, arms and legs and a head, eyes, mouth, nose, slowly swimming into life until the ocean in the womb is no longer large enough, and it is time for  birth.(http://thevalueofsparrows.com/2012/12/04/advent-meditation-a-sky-full-of-children-by-madeleine-lengle/)

…and she gave birth to a son and wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)

Joseph and Mary followed the law in regards to their son.  He was circumcised on the 8th day and given the name Jesus (obedience to God on Joseph’s part.).  33 days later this couple and their new Baby made their way the six miles from Bethlehem to Jerusalem.  They were to offer a sacrifice and through that sacrifice set apart their first born son to God.  They could not afford a lamb but instead used two turtle doves provided by the law for those who were impoverished.

When you are poor you don’t want to stand out any more than you already do.  But when your baby is the king of the universe, the reality is someone is going to notice.  Especially someone who has a unique relationship with God and is tuned into the Holy Spirit.  Simeon was such a person.  An old man who had waited all his life for one thing…to see the Messiah, the presence of God in the flesh.  When he saw Mary and Joseph and their baby, he knew…he just knew.  What he exclaimed on that day 1 month and 11 days after Jesus was born we celebrate each Christmas.

Jesus is salvation…  (Luke 2:30)

Because of sin…and we all sin…not a one of us is innocent before God.  Acts as simple as peaking at presents when Mom & Dad had forbidden it, to crimes against humanity that have brutally paraded themselves across our TV and computer screens in the past year; are all evidence of sin   We have an innate propensity to go our own way.   Sin separates us from God…sin puts us on a path to spiritual and eternal death…and we need to be saved…in fact I submit to you tonight, that every person is looking for redemption of some kind, we all want to be loved, to matter, to be forgiven…so God provides His salvation…since he is the one who created and the one who is offended…he sets the rules for being saved.  He sent his son

Jesus’ birth is God’s plan (Luke 2:31)

God had planned long before the world was created that he would provide a means for his creation to be restored to relationship with himself.  God in his plan chose to create us with the ability to choose knowing full well that we may end up choosing our way as opposed to his.  God knew that the consequences of our sinful choice would lead to death.  So his plan was to offer up his own son to pay the penalty for our choice to live independently from him.  Jesus paid the debt we owed.

Jesus is light (Luke 2:32)

If you are not Jewish by birth, you are a Gentile.  Jesus came for Jews and Gentiles.  He came to show you the way to have relationship with God.  It is through Jesus we can be restored to right relationship with God.

The presents under your tree this Christmas may thrill you, they may surprise you, they may meet an immediate need.  But they will wear out.  They will break. The warranties will expire and you think you will need more next year.  The problem with putting our hope in the sights, sounds, lights, and gifts of the season is that the season eventually ends and life goes on.

When you and I open our lives to Jesus, we have a deeper satisfaction and fulfillment.  It is not that we don’t enjoy presents and surprises and even warranties…it is that we don’t put our hope in them, we know they will never fully satisfy the deepest longing of our heart.

That can only be done by Jesus.  He is the one we celebrate and the one who loves you and the one who invites you to celebrate him above all else this Christmas.  He was worth the wait for an old man named Simeon and now he waits for you.

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