Sermon for 1st Sunday after Christmas – 12.31.23

+ 1st Sunday of Christmas – 12.31.23 +

Series B: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA

 

“Waiting With Simeon”

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Anyone with children or grand-children has heard these words before…before Christmas, before a birthday, before something highly anticipated: I. Can’t. Wait.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Adults aren’t much better. Amazon same-day shipping isn’t fast enough. The buffering bar keeps spinning while I’m streaming Netflix. And heaven forbid we get stuck at a red light. Yes, the great hymn writer, Tom Petty was right about us…the waiting is the hardest part.

In our day and age of fast-food, high-speed 5G networks, and instant access to the internet with a touch of our phones, we have lost the art of waiting.

And yet Scripture has a lot to say about waiting.

In Psalm 130 we hear…My soul waits for the Lord; my soul waits, and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)

Psalm 40: I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40)

Psalm 27:14: Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)

Towards the end of his life Jacob cried out…I wait for your salvation O Lord. (Genesis 39)

St. Paul echoes our anxious waiting as we and all creation groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:22-23)

Today on this 7th day of Christmas we find ourselves like Simeon. Waiting.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel

Simeon was waiting… Not twiddling-his-thumbs or yawning away the hours, but the kind of waiting that knows that, sooner or later, God will make good on his promise. And this was the Lord’s promise: before he saw death, he would see the Lord’s Christ. The Seed that Adam longed to see sprout. The Rest Noah longed for. The everlasting on David’s throne. The child born of a Virgin whom Isaiah prophesied. This One, Simeon cradled in his arms.

Simeon knew a thing or two about waiting. For…The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Waiting…always comes before consolation. Noah and his family waited over a year to walk on the dry ground of a new creation. Israel waited over 40 years to finally cross the Jordan to the Promised Land.

Simeon is the Old Testament in one man, watching for the fulfillment and consolation of Israel. That’s the pattern. Waiting, then consolation.

Simeon is a wonderful picture of our life in this fallen, broken world. A life so often marked by waiting.

What is that you find yourself waiting for this morning? What is it that you wait for in the New Year that is nearly upon us? Resolutions you are pondering? Goals for the year ahead? A new job? Better economy?

Perhaps you find yourself, like Simeon, waiting for consolation. A good report from those tests the doctor did before Christmas. Healing from a sudden or prolonged illness. Reconciliation from a strained or broken relationship with family or a friend. Waiting with someone in hospice care. Waiting for despair to lift, for an anxious heart to calm, for a moment of quietness in a busy, noisy world.

Whatever our waiting may look like – and it’s different for all of us – there’s one thing we all have in common. We’re terrible at waiting. Lord give me patience and give it to me right now! We’re impatient because we don’t trust. We don’t trust because we want things done our way and in our time. My kingdom come. My will be done.

Here’s the thing about waiting. We can wait in line for a new iPhone, but it’s going to be obsolete as soon as we get it in our hands. We might wait for a new movie or show…but it could just as well fail to live up to the hype. So often in this life what we wait for never comes. False gods – whether they’re outside or inside of us – always disappoint.

But in the Lord, your waiting is never in vain.

So, how does God answer us in our waiting? The same way he did with Simeon: in the hidden lowliness of the cross. In the ordinary humility of a defenseless, tiny child – probably the last thing Simeon expected. All of God’s promises wrapped up in the human flesh of a 40 day old infant in his arms. Simeon’s consolation and ours is found in the Child of the Manger. Simeon’s redemption and ours is found in the redemption of this Man on the cross.

God answered our waiting when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

God came to Simeon in his waiting, and he comes to you as you wait, with the same promise: consolation in the Christ child born for you. Comfort in the one who came to the temple at 40 days old, and again when he was 33 – there in Simeon’s arms, on the cross outside Jerusalem, in the word he speaks to you, in his body and blood poured out for you, in the water of your baptism, in the word of forgiveness – there is the one who answers our waiting with his word of consolation.

And so with Simeon we wait for the Lord. Knowing that in the Lord, the wait is over. Jesus is here. Our waiting and our consolation; our hope and our redemption; our life and our death. It’s all here for you in this Child of the Manger and the Man of the Cross, just as it was for Simeon.

“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 blessed 7th day of Christmas and a happy New Year…

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

Contact

Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977