************ Sermon on Luke 2:30 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on December 11, 2005
"My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation"
Church School Program
I Christmas Doesn't Come From a Store
Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did not!
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one knows quite the reason.
Do any of you boys and girls recognize these words? Have you heard them before? GET A RESPONSE. Yes, these words come from De. Seuss's book, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
The grouchy Grinch hates Christmas and everything about Christmas – the toys, the noise, the joy, the songs, the Santas, the parties – everything! Remember what he does? He decides to stop Christmas from coming. He dresses up as Santa, goes down the chimney of every house in Who-ville, and steals everything he can get his hands on.
Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!
Pop guns! And bicycles! Roller skates! Drums!
Checkerboards! Tricycles! Popcorn! And plums!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then the Grinch, very nimbly,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the chimbley
... And the one speck of food that he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.
The Grinch takes off with all their stuff just as the Whos are about to wake up. He can't wait to see how distressed they will be when they find out their Christmas has been stolen.
"Pooh-Pooh to the Whos!" he was grinchishly humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two.
Then the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"
As the Grinch listens for the sounds of crying, he is most surprised to hear instead the sounds of singing.
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
"It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas ... means a little bit more!"
Boys and girls, do we need to learn the lesson of the Grinch? Do we think Christmas needs presents and Santas and trees and snow? Do we think Christmas comes from a store? Or, do we realize Christmas means a little bit more?
Dr. Seuss and his Grinch remind us of something vitally important. They remind us Christmas doesn't come from a store. But where does Christmas come from? What does it mean? To answer that question we need to turn the Bible. The Bible tells us exactly where Christmas comes from.
I would like to read a passage from the Bible that is part of your program tonight. READ LUKE 2:25-32 ...
If Christmas does not come from a store, where does it come from? Christmas comes from God. Christmas is Christ.
II My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation
A Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courts. He picked up Jesus and said, "My eyes have seen your salvation."
That's the heart of Christmas. That's where Christmas comes from. It comes from Jesus. It doesn't come from a store. It does not come from Santa. It doesn't come from parties and programs.
Topic: ChristmasImagine – Christmas without Jesus! Like the Grinch, this class forgot that Jesus lies at the center of Christmas. But Simeon knows better.
Title: Do You Recognize Christ in Christmas?
Not long ago, a professor of psychology in one of our great universities gave a word suggestion test to his class of 40 students. He instructed them to write the word "Christmas" on the top of their page, and all the class did so. "Now," said the professor, "right after the word 'Christmas' write the first thought that flashes through your mind regarding that day." When the papers were turned in, such answers were given as "tree," "holly," "mistletoe," "presents," "turkey," "holiday," "carols," and "Santa Claus," but no one had written, "Jesus."
Simeon says, "My eyes have seen your salvation." What is it that Simeon's old eyes are seeing? He is seeing a little baby. Looking at the outside, at least, there was nothing special about the baby Jesus. He was just a baby with five toes on each foot and five fingers on each hand and a mop of hair on the head.
Yet, when old Simeon looks at the baby Jesus he obviously sees more than just a little baby. "My eyes have seen your salvation." That word "see" is very important here. It means to perceive, notice, discern, discover, know, and understand. The Spirit of God that moved Simeon to go to the temple courts made him "see" more than just a little baby.
So what did Simeon see?
B "My eyes have seen your salvation." Filled with the Spirit, Simeon sees that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. Simeon saw that Jesus is the promised Messiah Who sits on the throne of David (Jer 23:5). Simeon sees that Jesus is the "Immanuel" and the "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" spoken of by Isaiah (Is 7:14; 9:6). Simeon sees that Jesus is the Son of God Who sits at God's right hand (Psalm 110:1). Simeon sees with his own eyes what God's people waited centuries to see and what Simeon himself waited a whole lifetime to see. Simeon sees that God is a wonderful God, a sovereign God, a God Who keeps His promises.
C "My eyes have seen your salvation." Simeon sees more. Simeon sees the wonderful miracles Jesus will be doing – healing the blind, the lame, the sick. Simeon hears the wonderful news Jesus will be bringing – to the poor, the prisoner, the outcasts. Simeon sees the love Jesus will be showing to people like Zacchaeus, Mary, Martha, a Roman centurion (Lk 4:18-19; 7:22).
D "My eyes have seen your salvation." Simeon sees still more. Filled with the Spirit, Simeon sees the cross and the grave. He sees that Jesus is the Suffering Servant Who will die for our sins. He sees that Jesus will be despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. He sees that Jesus will be hated.
E "My eyes have seen your salvation." Simeon sees that Jesus is exactly Who His name says he is. The name "Jesus" means "Savior." Jesus is the Savior. He is the only Savior.
F "My eyes have seen your salvation." I think Simeon sees one more thing. He sees that we all are sinners. He sees that he is a sinner who needs saving. He sees that I am a sinner who needs saving. He sees that you and your parents and your grandparents are sinners who need saving.
"My eyes have seen your salvation." He sees that the world is a mixed up and messed up place where children get butchered by an evil king, or aborted by women who don't know better. He sees that the world is full of drunkenness, addiction, hurt, and pain. He sees immorality. He sees prostitution. He sees foreign domination. He sees earthquakes, volcanoes, tidal waves, tornadoes, hurricanes. He sees heart attack, strokes, cancer, tumors, disabilities.
"My eyes have seen your salvation." Simeon's eyes sees that Christmas doesn't come from a store. Instead, it comes from Jesus. It focuses on Jesus.
"My eyes have seen your salvation." As Simeon sees this he knows he can die in peace. As Simeon sees this he knows he is ready to meet God, His Maker. Why do I say this? Because Simeon not only sees but he also believes. He believes Jesus is the Savior. He believes Jesus is the Messiah. He believes Jesus is the Son of God.
"My eyes have seen your salvation." Simeon sees and Simeon believes. So Simeon is ready to die.
Can you echo Simeon? Can you say, "Lord, I am ready at any time"? Can you say, "I can die in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation"? You don't have to be holding the baby Jesus in your arms to say that. You just have to be holding on to Jesus by faith. And, as Simeon shows us, you are never too old – or too young – to see God's salvation.
"My eyes have seen your salvation." That's the whole point of Christmas.
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