Sermon Outline On Luke 2:21-40
Mary and Joseph were now past there first full week as parents of the baby Jesus. Most importantly, as Jews, it was time for them to take Jesus and present Him at the Temple to be circumcised and named. All of this which had been done down through the ages since the time of Moses. All of this very normal for any Jewish family to present their son for this special service. This was especially important since He was the first-born son and therefore holy to the Lord. However, no one could be more holy then the baby Jesus ‘“ God’s own Son to be presented this day.
And, no one would ever have the experience that Mary and Joseph, and Simeon and Anna would have on this day. Once again Mary and Joseph receive affirmation to who their Son is and some of His destiny as they listen to the words of Simeon and Anna.
Simeon is a man from Jerusalem who we know nothing about except for this encounter. We find out that he is must like Joseph, in that, we are told that he is righteous and devout in his faith. We know that the Holy Spirit rested upon him and it was revealed to him through the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he met the Messiah. Guided by the Spirit that day Simeon had gone to the Temple and there amongst the hundreds of people it was revealed to him that the baby in the arms of Mary and Joseph was the Messiah. He asked to hold him and then began to prophecy. ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel’. Simeon’s life was now complete and he could die in peace. Not only that he prophesied that this truly was God’s Messiah who was here to save the Gentiles and the people of Israel. This is the Messiah for all of the world and God’s creation. The Messiah was not just for the Israelites but also for the whole world. Simeon then blessed His parents but also warned them that the road ahead would be difficult.
As they continued to go through the Temple another prophet by the name of Anna came up to them. A woman who had been dedicated to God all of her life and even lived in the Temple. She too began to prophecy, not just to Mary and Joseph, but also to all who would listen that this child was here to redeem the world.
What an amazing experience all of this must been for Mary and Joseph. They began the day being faithful Jews to go and have prayers of purification and to circumcise their child and instead found out the wonders of what happens when we are open to the guiding of the Holy Spirit. Each of these people ‘“ Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna ‘“ had opened their hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit and God leading them in their lives. Mary and Joseph were now raising God’s Son. Simeon and Anna had prayed deeply for the coming of the Messiah and now, in their faithfulness they had seen Him and they knew that God’s redemption was at hand. Wow! What amazing things happen when we are open to God. And, these are not just things that happened long ago but God’s Spirit is alive and well in this world today if we are open to His presence in our lives and to His leading us.
When we are open to the guidance of God many wonderful things happen in our lives also. Noah and his family were saved from the floods. David defeated Goliath. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego went into the fiery furnace into a seemingly hopeless situation and they trusted God to be with them and He was! Twelve disciples heard and responded to the call of Jesus to come and follow Him. Paul turned his life around from persecuting Christians to being one of the great leaders of the church. Mother Theresa witnessed and was a servant to the poor and ill in Calcutta. Billy Graham has preached to hundreds of thousands of people and so many have come to Christ. All because people of listened to and have responded to the promptings and leadings of the Holy Spirit.
And, now God’s Holy Spirit is moving again although there are times that God’s Spirit moves in ways that is sometimes not what we want or not in our timing. But, God’s timing is always perfect whether we agree or not.
By following the Holy Spirit change often times comes into our lives. What we have to remember is that when God brings us to a time and a place of change it is a good thing even if we aren’t always happy about it. Following God changed Mary and Joseph’s lives dramatically, but the change in their lives affected the world forever.
The disciples, by following Jesus, had them leaving their jobs and leaving their families but for the wonderful and often hard lifestyle of preaching and teaching with and for Christ. Hundreds of thousands of Christians down through the century have followed Christ and suffered great persecution but they would not trade it for living a life in Christ. It has also lead them on wonderful adventures.
All of that being said, what we also have to realize and deal with is the emotions that come with change. We have to allow ourselves to grieve, we have to deal with the anxiousness and anxiety that sometimes comes with change, and we need to be open to where God is leading us.