St. Paul’s Lutheran Church has made the difficult decision to pause our in-person Services until further notice. The Lord bless you and keep you.

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Join us for Divine Service each Sunday morning at 10:00am

First Sunday after Christmas

December 27, 2020 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Christmas

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Luke 2:22-40
Date: December 27th, 2020; Christmas 1; Series B
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • Next week we will celebrate and bring in the new year.
  • I think it’s fair to say that most of us are looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020 and there is excitement and hope for what 2021 will bring.  
  • What will 2021 look like?
  • I pray that we experience a lot of good - time with our loved ones, new children and grandchildren, weddings and anniversaries and graduations. 
  • I pray that we experience some stability. 
  • But we are not out of the woods yet with the pandemic and we don’t know what the impact will be on our lives in 2021. 
  • So, it can be unsettling, even a bit scary, when we consider what the future may hold for us in 2021.
  • But we can learn a lot about how to be at peace about our future from a man named Simeon, whom we heard about in our Gospel lesson.
  • We heard that Simeon "was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 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." 
  • The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon and had led him to the temple to see the promised Messiah.
  • You can just imagine Simeon patiently waiting near the entrance to the temple, watching parents with their first-born sons, wondering how he would ever be able to tell which one was the promised Christ.    
  • But, then when Mary and Joseph entered with Jesus, you can imagine the Holy Spirit telling Simeon, "This one! He is the Christ!" 
  • When Simeon saw the Lord’s Christ, he confidently walked up to the Messiah, and boldly took hold of the Saviour from Mary’s arms.  
  • And there, out in the middle of all the temple activity, he sings so that everyone who hears will also see the fulfillment of God’s promise in the 40-day-old baby in his arms.
  • He sings, "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
  • The Lord has come to his temple with salvation.  He has come to redeem his people.  
  • In response, Simeon sings this song of praise.
  • Through the Holy Spirit’s gift of faith, Simeon acknowledges his Saviour and rejoices! 
  • He embraces the Word made flesh, and he trusts that God’s promise of forgiveness and eternal life has now been fulfilled.
  • That's why he can depart in peace - even though he now knows that he could see death at any time.
  • Simeon departs in peace because God is faithful - he has kept his promises proclaimed by the prophets of old. 
  • The Virgin has conceived and born a Son and he is called Immanuel – God with us.
  • And the prophecies about Jesus will continue to be fulfilled. 
  • The Messiah will make the blind see and the deaf hear.  He will make the mute sing and the lame leap for joy.  
  • The Messiah will be stricken, smitten and afflicted for our iniquities.  
  • He will be the cursed man on the tree – the cross. 
  • His robe will be gambled away.
  • Jesus would go on to fulfill all of these prophesies which lead up to the ultimate promise of God – the promise of final and ultimate victory over sin and death.  
  • Trusting in what had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, Simeon departs in peace.
  • And notice that it doesn’t say that Simeon departs to peace.  It’s not that he will now depart to a life without trials and difficulties.  
  • He still lives in a sinful world and he will still face death.
  • He does not depart to peace, but rather he departs in peace.  
  • Regardless of what life throws at him, he is in peace, because God is faithful.
  • Simeon is in peace because he knows the end of the story.  
  • The end of the story is life everlasting, because the Saviour has come.
  • And so it is with you and me.  
  • We don’t know what is in store for us in 2021 - or in the years to come.  
  • But we do know the end of the story.  
  • The end of the story is life everlasting, because the Son has come.
  • Just as the Holy Spirit enabled Simeon to see the Christ in the temple that day, so he enables us to see our Saviour in the Word and Sacraments.
  • As we read and hear the Holy Scriptures we see our Lord bearing all of our sin on the cross.
  • We see him die the death we deserve.
  • We see him rise victorious over sin and death - and we trust his promise that we will too.
  • We see him very personally giving his gift of salvation to his people through the waters of Holy Baptism.
  • We see him feeding and nourishing his people with his true body and true blood in order to forgive our sins and strengthen our faith.
  • Through these means of grace the Holy Spirit has given you the gift of faith in the truth that God keeps his promises.  
  • The Holy Spirit has given you the gift of faith that receives God Christmas promise. 
  • So with Simeon, we too sing: "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
  • We commend 2021, and all of the days ahead of us, to the Lord.  
  • We do this in peace, trusting in God’s promise of the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.   
  • God’s richest blessings to you in 2021 - and all the days of your life. Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, unto life everlasting. Amen.

More in Christmas

January 3, 2021

Second Sunday after Christmas

December 25, 2020

Christmas Day

December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve