Sunday Service 02/02/2020

You can listen to the Sunday service message by Pastor Asher in the following audio link

Date: 02/02/2020: 08:30 am

Message: Pastor Asher

Scroll down for the written script of the message

Simeon- The Lord’s House-2/2/20- Luke 2:22-32

Luke 2:22-32

 Jesus Presented at the Temple

 22 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 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 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. 26 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. 27 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, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant[a] depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”

*IN NOMINE JESU*. Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Looking at the calendar, if you do the math, today we are about 40 days after Christmas.  I know that we have all moved on with our lives.  The holiday is behind us.  We are back at work or at school.  We are in the normal routine.  We are in February, after all.

But in the church year and in our Luke 2 reading, today we focus once again on Jesus as an infant.  And in our reading, He is 40 days old.  Mary and Joseph are bringing the baby Jesus from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to present Him to God in obedience to the Law of Moses.

Now, there is a lot to notice in our Luke 2 reading.  First, understand that Mary and Joseph were deeply faithful to God, and their hearts’ desire was to be obedient to the Lord’s Word and will.  So in submission to the Law of Moses, we see them bring their son to the temple at day 40 of his life.  And with the infant’s presentation to God, they brought the requisite sacrifice.

As young parents, their example is instructive to all of us.  Raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), and giving them discipline and training here at the Lord’s house is pleasing to God and in accord with His will.  And please don’t worry about the occasional noisy child or the one that needs to be taken from worship for a “time out.”  Training and growth and maturity takes time for everyone.  And we have enough Christian parents and grandparents here to understand what young parents go through… and we will have loving patience with your family.

The important thing is to bring children to God’s house so that they begin to learn the importance of being in God’s house, the importance of worship and prayer, the importance of singing praise to

God, and most important, that our children learn about God’s love and forgiveness in Jesus for all of us.

And make no mistake, children notice everything.  While they are coloring their children’s bulletins, they are also noticing what YOU are doing.  Your prayers, your hymns, your confession of sin and faith, and your listening to this sermon.  And even the toddlers will be amazed that church means so much to mom and dad and all the adults here.

And finally, parents, in this hour of worship, try not to let your children pull you into their world of play.  As much as you love your kids, REFUSE to be distracted.  Instead, show them the value of your worship of God.  Here we not only teach the faith, we also MODEL the faith.  All children will notice that worship is important to you.  That God comes first.  That you personally need this time with the Lord.  And they will remember your devotion to Jesus their whole lives.

The other person mentioned in today’s Gospel is Simeon.  At the time of our reading, this man had probably reached old age.  In verse 25, Simeon is described as “righteous” and “devout.”  And then it is noted that “the Holy Spirit was upon him.”  I hope all of us can be described this way.

We are also told that Simeon is “waiting the consolation of Israel.”  And this means that he is waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled, and further for the arrival of the Savior.  In fact, the Holy Spirit had personally revealed to him that he would not die before the Savior’s appearing in Israel.

So IN THE SPIRIT, by the Holy Spirit’s direction and guidance, Simeon comes to the temple, finds the baby Jesus and His parents, then takes the holy Child in his arms and praises God for His gift.  You can see his words of praise in the last four verses of our reading.

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace…”

In Latin, this “song” is entitled the Nunc Dimittis, and it has been sung by Christians since the 4th Century A.D.  And today you will find it in the Compline, the Vespers, and the Evensong services.  And we will sing the Nunc Dimittis today after Holy Communion.  The reason why we sing it here in the liturgy is because in common bread and wine, we have Christ’s body and blood providing the forgiveness of sins.  At the Lord’s table, we see the forgiveness, life, and salvation which God has prepared through His Son Jesus, in the presence of all people.

Now, if you take a close look at the last four verses of our Gospel, you will see that two themes emerge.  First, Simeon praises God that He has fulfilled His promise to him PERSONALLY.  Simeon’s own eyes have seen the Lord’s Messiah, Jesus in the flesh, and Simeon’s joy overflows.  In the infant he is holding, God’s victory over sin, death, and hell is assured.  And Simeon’s own salvation is accomplished.

But there is more in this man’s song.  We see that God has given a Savior to the Jews and the whole world- the Gentiles.  Verses 31-32, referring to salvation, Simeon says-

You have prepared (salvation) in the presence of ALL PEOPLES.  A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.

Simeon is prophetically announcing that this child Jesus is for everybody.  Christ’s righteous life, His death on the cross in payment for sin, and His Easter resurrection has won salvation for all who believe.

In his song of praise, Simeon emphasizes eyes, and seeing, and light, and glory.  And in Jesus there is “no darkness at all.” (1st John 1:5). Jesus is the “Light of the world.” (John 8:12). And the Holy Spirit effectively communicates the good news of salvation through the Gospel to the glory of God to the entire world.

God’s glory has long been associated with light.  When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain, and He shone with unsurpassed brightness, the disciples Peter, James, and John (Mark 9) were terrified.  But for Simeon, he sees the light of Christ and the glory of God as he holds the Savior in his arms.  Jesus is approachable.  He is ALWAYS approachable.  This is the God we have.  He loves us and rescues us by a cross.  This is the God we have… He comes as a Servant to save sinners.  And our Lord allows us to touch Him, to hold Him, and to worship Him.

And that’s why we are in God’s house today.  Our Savior Jesus who died for us and rose again to save us from sin now invites us to be with Him.  For Jesus promises to be wherever two or three are gathered in His name.  Sure, we are also here because God’s Law, the Third Commandment, compels us to “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.”  And Luther explains that we are NOT to despise preaching and God’s Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.  But we are not here just because of God’s command.  We are here in this house to see Jesus.

Here in the Lord’s house we have Jesus, Who is the joy of our salvation.  We also have the peace the Lord gives to us in Christ.  We have the love of God the Father.  We have the Holy Spirit and all the fruit He gives for the Christian life- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

And here in the Lord’s house we have God’s precious gifts, His Word and Sacraments… for these give us Jesus Himself.  For Christ is the Word made flesh, and in Him is life and salvation.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

+Sola Deo Gloria+

Prayers- Presentation of Our Lord- 2/2/20

Dear Heavenly Father, by your Holy Spirit’s power, always draw us to Your house of worship so that we may see Jesus.  We rejoice in the glory and salvation which You provide in Your Son, our Savior.  And we ask that in this time of worship, You would draw all hearts- from the youngest children to the most senior adults, to You!

Lord in Your mercy….  Hear our prayer.

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