THE WEEK AFTER CHRISTMAS
The Silent Night is Over..Now What?
What happened the week after Christmas is vitally important to the story. This week Pastor Shannon takes us on a journey back to Jerusalem and the confirmation of the Temple Priest. For 400 years, people have been waiting...through wars, persecution, and turmoil, and finally....the wait is over!
WHAT HAPPENED THE WEEK AFTER CHRISTMAS?
The Silent Night Is Over…The Joyful Noise Has Just Begun
What happened the week after Christmas?
The singing of Silent Night is over
The time of placing gifts under the tree is over
The time of last minute shopping is over
Already merchants are shifting gears and clearing out. This is the week after Christmas
We go hunting
What can we learn from this…..that waiting on God is super important
If there ever was a man who could exemplify waiting on God – it’s Simeon.
He is a temple priest who is called a devout man. He has been waiting on the favor of the Lord – after all he was caught up in that inter-testamental a period along with everyone else of his day. For 400 years, the period between the concluding words of the Old Testament, to the opening of time in the New Testament. The children of Israel had suffered as a political volleyball first from the Syrians and now to the Romans. Over the last 400 years the people of Simeon had seen leadership shift from Mathias Maccabee and his sons, to the Hasmonean Dynasty that saw some heinous rulers. In recent years they had watched an Edomite family by the name of Herod marry into the royal lineage and become kings themselves.
Yet in the midst of the political unrest and strife, Simeon and others like him had patiently waited on the Lord to send his favor and true king to the people. Simeon had lived his entire life waiting on God to move just as he said he would.
Through the guerrilla fighting of the maccabees
Through the political maneuverings of Johnathan and Jude, Simeon waited on God
Through the crafty manipulations of politically ambitious families, Simeon waited on God
Through the topsy turvy economy of the Jews, Simeon waited on God
Through the cultural transition from Greek Hellenism to a world dominated and controlled by Roman Caesars, Simeon waited on God
Waiting on God is vital. First because anticipation brings about excitement, thought, dreams…
…and also if you wait, you ensure you’re doing it God’s way, not yours
He was waiting for the comfort, solace and consolation that only God can bring. We need to realize, and really let tis sink in….. that the world can bring you some pleasure – but there are some things that only God can bring you.
The world can give you advice – but God can give you direction.
The world can give you a high – but God can give you joy.
The world can give you a temporary hug – but God can wrap his arms around you.
The world can give you a few moments of happiness – God can give you joy.
Simeon is waiting for God to send the consolation. The one
prophesied by the Prophets of old. He is waiting for God to send a King, a counselor, a monarch, the consolation, the truth, the way, the light.
He’s waiting for the Old Testament prophecy to move from words into flesh. He’s waiting for the prophetical to become the physical.
Holy Spirit versus Spirit of God
He was waiting on the world to change…and it did!
those of us in the New Testament age, we are not waiting for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we HAVE the baptism – we are FILLED with the Spirit; He does not
land and light upon us – we are FILLED with the Spirit.
He’s not ON us, He’s IN us!
I don’t pout because of who’s on the outside, I shout because who’s on the inside.
I don’t doubt because of what I hear on the outside, I shout because of what screams on the inside.
I don’t cry because of what I see on the outside, I fly because what I know on the inside.
The Holy Speaks to Simeon and says that he won’t see death until you’ve seen the Lord’s Christ.
He’s able to move you from worrying about this world to rejoicing about the world to come.
The custom and the law was on the eighth day….. they name the child, and bless the child
But this day was unusual. As they bring the child to the Temple priest Simeon, and put the child in his possession – he blessed God. The job of the priest at circumcision was to proclaim a blessing upon a child – but how can a priest proclaim a blessing upon someone who is already blessed? His job was to consecrate the child with solemn prayers – but how can a priest consecrate someone who is already blessed? His only option was to eulogeo – to praise or celebrate with praises. And that’s what he did.
When you’ve been waiting on something to happen, then it does……you WILL praise!
F’s to A’s
your dad to be healed
Praying for direction, then it becomes clear!
your wife to fall in love with you again
your job application turns to employment
your doctor to give you different test results than what they initially thought
Simeon realizes that what he’s been waiting for is now in his hand. Y’all gotta understand that “favor” means God opens doors for you, that you see His promises manifest in your life…… you may have to wait for what you’ve been promised for God – but when you receive it – you should praise God.
I can’t understand how some people can come to church after God gives you what He promised and you sit there and refuse to praise God. It must be understood that when you’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and God comes through – that’s praising God time. And not a golf clap or a queen elizabeth wave
another perspective…..blind fold
He says, Lord, let me die in peace. I know that the minute I saw Jesus, the clock started ticking for me. He says mine eyes have seen the salvation. Even before Jesus saw the cross, Simeon saw that he was already the Savior. Before Jesus went to the cross he was already the savior. Before he marched through the streets of Jerusalem, he was already the savior.
My brothers and sisters, if Simeon can bless God with foresight, we should be able to praise God even more in hindsight.
Regardless of what we might be waiting for in our lives, hoping for…..
You should be able to bless God when you think about the cross that he carried… think about this…..you’re alive and are blessed enough to be able to buy food, alcohol, fireworks, have a house, etc…….BECAUSE of God!
You should be able to shout when you think about the journey up the hill to Calvary….
You should be able to jump for joy when you think about the nails in His hands…
You should be able to weep for joy when you think about him dying from the sixth to the ninth hour…
But praises…..they should come….when you think about that early Sunday morning……He got up with all power in His hand.
But more than that you should praise him when you stop to think about what he has done for you this past year.
This week, when we’re turning over new leaves, dedicating to get in shape, be a better father, mother, husband, wife. Do better in school, keep a cleaner house…..I first want you to stop! pray about it, and ask GOD, what does HE want you to do this year. Wait on the answer, then fire off with the praises!