December 24, 2021

Christmas is The Christ

Passage: Luke 2:25-35

A little boy was told by his father to wait in a corner at a store, while he had a tire changed on his car.  It turned out that the car required more attention than the man had anticipated, and it took over an hour.  The father anxiously hurried back to get his little boy, and found him right where he had told him to stay. He said to the boy, "Did you think your daddy had forgotten about you?" "Oh, no", was the reply, accompanied by a smile of perfect trust, "I knew you would come just as soon as you could.  I wasn't a bit worried.  I stayed where you told me, and waited, and watched for you."  When I read this story I was thinking of the “waiting” that always accompany Christmas.  Children always count the days before Christmas and there are those who keep their Advent calendars.  Christmas is a time of when “waiting” has been fulfilled.  In Luke 2: 25-35 we meet two faithful people, Simeon and Anna.  They waited on God's promise of the Messiah to come and redeem His people.  The waiting paid of as the promise was fulfilled.

From this passage we see that the promise first realized for Simeon and then the rest of mankind.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he wouldn't die until He had seen the Messiah.  Two things are assumed, but never stated in these verses: (1) that Simeon was an old man who was drawing every closer to death.  (2) that Simeon had been waiting a long time for this moment.  Once he had seen the fulfillment of the promise, he was ready to go. The language is that of a slave that is experiencing freedom for the first time.  By finally setting his eyes on the Christ, Simeon was released from his faithful service and the burden he bore for many years waiting for His arrival.

But this promise was fulfilled to All of Mankind.  In every place of the world we can think of there is the wonderful affirmation – indeed God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.  For us here, but for all people in the world there is the reality – “Go tell it on the mountain and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born.”  We have come to this place of worship to welcome the Christ Child because of one reason my friends – God has kept His promise.  It wasn't like an empty promise that had gone unfulfilled.  No, in the fullness of time, “Emmanuel – God with us” came into fulfillment.  Place yourself among those shepherds who received the message of great Joy.  Place yourself in the stable with Mary and Joseph and as you look into the eyes of the Son of God, you must go on your knees and thank God that His promise was fulfilled.

To see the Christ Child is to see God’s salvation presented.  Luke informs us that Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel.  The word means "comfort by way of encouragement.”  What was it that brought such comfort and encouragement so that he could say, "Now dismiss your servant in peace"?  It was the message that salvation had come in Jesus.  Simeon was quick to recognize that the Baby Boy being presented in the temple by his parents was no ordinary child.  He was the Christ of God Who had come as "a Light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”  Simeon was quick to see that Jesus came for everyone.  There had never been a time when Christ was more needed than when, in God’s providential timing, He came 2,000 years ago.  The great comfort of the Gospel is that in our present distress Jesus came for a time like now.  Above everything plaguing this world, there are words that bring peace and assurance – God the Saviour is here like He came 2000 years ago.  He is here through His Spirit and He gives peace.  He is the One though Whom I can say to all of you – Merry Christmas!  May His coming change your life forever.

Amen.