Luke 2 - A New Story on an Ancient Stage

The Book of Luke chapter 20 Luke chapter

2 I know you're beginning to wonder if

there's any book besides Leviticus in

the Bible but we are going to be lucky

actually visitors think I'm kidding i

actually know it's anyway Luke chapter

to Luke chapter 2 verse 22 Luke chapter

2 verse 22 this is a beautiful and

amazing moment in the Christmas story

and it's one that I just always find

myself coming back to and so let's start

in verse 22 Luke chapter 2 verse 22 says

when the time came for the purification

rites required by the law of Moses

Joseph and Mary took him Jesus as a baby

to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord

so the context for this a month has gone

by since Jesus has been born and the law

in the Old Testament said that certain

sacrifices need to be offered for a type

of purification that we're going to talk

about and these are laws from the book

of sorry about this Leviticus chapter 12

and what I want to point that out right

now because these are not just laws

these are things that normal Israelite

believers in God really did including

Joseph and Mary they came to the temple

to offer the sacrifice that was

commanded in the Book of Leviticus it

was part of their obedience in their

love language for the Lord as we talked

about last week so when the time came

for the purification rites required by

the law of Moses Joseph and Mary took

him Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to

the Lord and as it is written in the law


Lord every firstborn male is to be

consecrated to the Lord and to offer

sacrifice in keeping with what is said

in the law of the Lord a pair of doves

or two young pigeons now there was a man

in Jerusalem called Simeon who is

righteous and devout he was waiting for

the consolation of Israel and the Holy

Spirit was on him it had been revealed

to him by the Holy Spirit that he would

not die before he had seen the Lord's

Messiah moved by the spirit he went into

the temple courts when the parents

brought in the Child Jesus to do for him

what the custom of the law required

Simeon took him in his arms and praise

God saying Sovereign Lord as you have

promised you may now dismiss your

servant in peace for my eyes have seen

your salvation which you have prepared

in the sight of all nations a light of

revelation to the Gentiles and the glory

of your people Israel verse 33 the

child's father and mother marveled at

what was said about him then Simeon

blessed them and said to Mary his mother

this child is destined to cause the

falling and rising of many in Israel and

to be a sign that will be spoken against

so that the thoughts of many hearts will

be revealed and a sword will pierce your

own soul to there was also a prophet

Anna the daughter of Penwell of the

tribe of Asher she was very old she had

lived with her husband seven years after

her marriage and then was a widow until

she was 84 she never left the temple but

worship tonight and day fasting and

praying in the temple coming up to them

at that very moment she gave thanks to

God and spoke about the child to all who

are looking forward to the redemption of

Jerusalem when Joseph and Mary had done

everything required by the law of the

Lord they returned to Galilee to their

own town of Nazareth and the child grew

and became strong and he was filled with

wisdom and the grace of God was on him

father I thank you for this moment God

when Mary and Joseph were presenting

Jesus in the temple and these two old

Saints these two old people of God

Simeon and Anna came up and prophesied

about him god I thank you for the image

of the old cradling the new gotta thank

you for this image of how you visit your

people in ways that we might not expect

and that we're living a drama god I pray

that you would speak to us today God

that would be the voice of the Shepherd

speaking to us and that we your sheep

would hear your voice I pray in jesus

name amen amen you see movies about

Christmas where you've seen this happen

I hope if you haven't just try to

imagine it in your head huh isn't a

great scene you got Mary and Joseph

coming with the baby they're they're

coming up to some priests they're about

to do the sacrifices when this really

old man imagine as many wrinkles as you

can possibly imagine right the big

scraggly beard comes up and then comes

up and he starts talking to them about

what Jesus is and then it says he did it

say he actually took Jesus in his hands

doesn't say that I'm trying to look here

I should know yeah he takes Jesus in his

arms the pair's like whoa whoa who is

this dude right and he says Sovereign

Lord master you can now dismiss your

servant in peace I can die now and I can

die happy because my eyes have seen the


you know every now and then I have the

privilege of doing a funeral for a very

elderly person who met Jesus in their

older years and there's that feeling

that God I finally seen what I've been

waiting for and there's that joy of

knowing god my eyes have seen it and

then as soon as he's done a really

imagine a really only who've been a

widow since she was what twentyish you

know she'd been a widow all these years

60 years praying in the temple day and

night fasting and she comes up and

starts talking about Jesus too in a way

we see Jesus's earthly parents of course

we know God was Jesus's Heavenly Father

who can see what he was conceived by the

Holy Spirit but we see Jesus earthly

parents we see a spiritual parents in

this amazing scene it's like a movie

it's like a drama that's being played

out and I bet you know one of them knew

that they were actors in this movie you

ever thought of your life is a movie

some of you think wow my movie there's

some scenes I'd like to edit out there's

some seeds just a little too

action-packed right let's have a more

boring movie you know some of you have

adventure movies you know well God has a

story he's writing and you are a player

in it and we don't see the whole story

but we have a part to play in and that's

what we see happening here now the stage

for the movie the stage for the play is

the temple and the law of the Old

Testament you see that's why the law was

never presented if for people who loved

God who loved Yahweh in the Old

Testament the law was a blessing it was

something they longed for something they

delighted and because they knew that the

law is pointing me to God's salvation

and so look at all the language in this

text it says in verse 22 the time for

purification rites required by the law

of Moses legal language then verse 23 it

is as it is written in the law of the

Lord every firstborn male is to be

offered then in verse 25 it says they

were seeming it was righteous and devout

he observed the law

that a little later it says they had

done to the child everything that the

custom of the law required it's making a

point that Joseph and Mary followed the

law now that usually isn't something

that we say Amen follow the law we want

to think about New Testament grace and

freedom but the fact is that law was

obeying those laws that obedience as

pastor Sam preached about last week that

was their love language they were saying

god I love you I love you yahoo I so

much that I want to do everything you

have commanded to the letter of the law

and by coming to the temple they were

saying God we love you God we want to

obey you and so there are doing this

this offering to God and if you notice

about it just how normal the scene was

in the law there was a variety of

offerings that could be brought in

Leviticus 12 it makes it clear you could

bring a goat to sacrifice or you could

bring a sheep or if you don't have the

money you could catch a pigeon at the

bus stop and bring that guess what

Joseph and Mary brought the pigeons they

were they were broke really these were

they were poor they were humble they

would they needed God had allowed a

provision for even people without any

resources to worship Him and that was

valuable and precious to him and the Son

of God Himself was born into a family

that couldn't afford the more expensive

sacrifice this is their love language

they're obeying God now as we look at

this and I want to look at this I want

you to think about the little simple

things in your own life that God has

commanded you to do last week you were

gripped by this I hope by the way if you

run here last week watch it online

please so it's about how obey

God is our love language and there are

things that God calls us to do we're

obeying him is hard maybe and I feel

like God if I will bail you I'm gonna

die but God you want me to obey you and

that's your love language for some

people the obedience looks so little and

so trivial and insignificant god this

can't really be important to you but God

says that obeying him is the way you

tell him I love you it's his love

language and as we obey we are reading

the script that God has written for us

in the movie of our life the way he

wants the movie to go right when we

disobey were following a different

script the following someone else's

script for life and whatever followed

someone else's plan for your life no

annual followed their own that they just

cook up that doesn't quite work and

things don't go too well thank God our

God is so creative he is so awesome that

he can even take twists and turns that

he wouldn't have wanted you to do and he

can write that into the story and it

becomes even more beautiful so it's not

too late is it not too late it's never

too late but as we listen and flow into

obeying God an amazing story unfolds a

drama unfolds this beautiful and your

life is valuable and important and it

has a purpose to it even your being here

today has a purpose you might have just

thought you came or someone invited you

know you're here because God has a plan

and you're responding to him so I want

us to think about this as we look about

the stage for this drama first I want to

look again at the purification law okay

stick with me here okay one of the big

laws that Joseph and Mary are obeying

was along the vithika chapter 12 that

says when you have a baby after about a

month you need to come with the baby to

the temple and offer sacrifices for your

and the babies ritual purification okay

now does that sound a little foreign to

anybody here you know we can deal with

filling out the birth certificate and

all that but what's

this about getting purified does having

a baby make you dirty that's all right

randleman how about is having a baby who

is the son of the Living God does that

make you dirty is the Virgin Mary no

okay we're not talking about moral

dirtiness the Old Testament laws there

was a whole system of laws in the Old

Testament that seemed very strange to us

that say that if you eat certain foods

you are considered ritually impure you

can't come into the temple you need to

offer a sacrifice and be purified as if

that food had contaminated you with

toxins like you ate something with too

much preservatives in it right and you

need to purify we got any health food

people here right what it was like that

symbolically or maybe you touch a dead

body you're preparing for grieving they

would say when you touch a dead body you

would be considered ritually unclean and

you can't come into the tabernacle or

the temple for a certain amount of time

and you need to offer sacrifice and be

purified from that uncleanness you could

become unclean by any kind of a mission

or discharge or blood that flows and

that would be considered normal

uncleanness so there when they talk

about woman's monthly uncleanness or a

man having a sore are being unclean it

was ritually unclean doesn't mean they

were sinful doesn't mean you were bad

didn't mean you did anything wrong

everybody was unclean at some point

because we're human and we live in the

world it could also be if there's mold

in the house maybe the house was moldy

the priest sort of a building inspector

priest would come check it out ten ten

mass Avenue Leviticus whatever whatever

he checks it out and says this house is

unclean it's got mold right now some of

these might have had some public health

concern but it wasn't really about that

it was all of these things were meant to

illustrate from daily life for the


lights that I need to be thinking about

having a clean heart see there's nothing

unclean about having a skin condition

but it helped them to think about what

does my heart look like on the inside

there's nothing wrong with touching a

dead body and being contaminated by that

but it's just got me thinking about the

inside being clean you ever read the

story about Moses when he was

encountering God at the burning bush you

know that story the burning bush there's

this great bush in our backyard that's

red and my little daughter says that's a

burning bush like yes praise god you're

thinking about the Bible so Moses is

there at the burning bush right and one

of the things that the Lord says to

Moses put your hand in your cloak

remember that moment put your hand in

your cloak now pull it out and what does

his hand look like it's white leprous

white like snow you imagined he does

listen maja why does God do that miracle

why doesn't he have have your hand

glowing or something or turn you know

green something I don't know that why

does it have to be something gross you

ever thought about that well what's

happening the whole idea of leprosy just

a normal an illness that is not moral in

any way but in this case it was a symbol

for Moses of saying look you put your

hand in here you take it out that's what

your heart looks like never forget it

you're going to be a great leader with

all kinds of power but never forget that

I see your heart right so leprosy then

was a symbol for them of their inside

heart and by going through the process

of cleansing they were remembering God I

want to have a clean heart before you I

want to have a heart to distance here

but and Jesus makes this clear because

when Jesus came he said you know what

all those rules about washing and about

food Jesus is like you know what I got

news for you guys nothing that goes into

a person's mouth can contaminate you

anymore it's what comes out of your


the defiles you right it's not what you

eat it's what you say what you do that's

what contagious made that very clear he

said he said footage from the heart from

within that evil thoughts come sexual

immorality theft murder adultery greed

malice deceit lewdness Envy slander

arrogance folly all these evils come

from inside a person and defile them you

see it what comes from our heart but all

of these purification rules help them

think about their heart now isn't this

ironic how are our hearts going to get

pure and clean what can take away my sin

what can make me clean again there is a

great song that says nothing but the

blood of Jesus the very baby that is

being purified will purify your heart

will become a source of purification for

everyone who believes in Him it's an

ironic moment so as Joseph and Mary are

doing this they're acting out a drama

that this is the one who will fulfill

all of these purification laws because

everything that they symbolized Jesus is

going to make a reality all of those

little laws that help me think about my

heart now Jesus is going to really make

me clean on the inside and by the way I

would just say isn't that an amazing

thing have you ever lived without

feeling of inner guilt were you like oh

if people only knew and you just want to

wear the sunglasses all the time

sometimes people have a hard time coming

to church because they feel guilty what

God says you know what thanks to this

baby and what he's going to do the

thoughts of many hearts will be revealed

and a sword will go

and open up your head and plums and

purifying from the inside out so that

you can hold your head up high and you

can know this heart is clean it's not

perfect but it's clean it belongs to God

and where is going to be a shining

sincerity coming out of your eyes

because Jesus is the source of

purification they're fulfilling this law

was so meaningful and that is why Jesus

at one point said we're going to come

back around to this blessed are the eyes

that see what you see blessed are the

eyes because many prophets and kings and

righteous people longed to see that they

never saw it we get to see hearts

purified before our eyes we get to live

the purification will come back around

to that law number two that they're

fulfilling here is they are presenting

Jesus to the Lord as the firstborn okay

so that was one of the rules we kind of

do that here right with babies you have

a baby you come here you present the

baby here and we pray for the baby so

that's kind of where we get it but it

had more meaning there it had a little

bit of a different meaning to it you see

in the Old Testament God said every

firstborn male in Israel whether human

or animal is mine when I struck down all

the firstborn in Egypt I set them all

apart for me okay remember that story in

Egypt they were enslaved God made war on

the superpower of Egypt to set an

enslaved people free plague after play

after play God was fighting for his

people now the final plague that he

inflicted on Egypt was every firstborn

male animal or human was put to death

but the firstborn male of Israel all the

Jews that offered a lamb a sacrificial

lamb in place of the the firstborn was

spared and allowed to live and God at

that point made a point to the


saying all your firsts belong to me your

firstborn animals your firstborn

children your firstborn son is mine so

every time you have that firstborn son

they will bring it to the Lord and they

would have to redeem it redeem him sorry

by offering an offering or a sacrifice

in a way buying that child back from God

saying God this child belongs to you but

thank you for loaning him or her to me

now can you see some of the meaning that

would be in this for people it says in

the book of Exodus that when your son

asks you what are we doing this for what

does this mean you will say to him with

a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of

Egypt out of the land of slavery when

Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go

this is why I sacrifice to the Lord the

first male offering of every whim and

redeem each of my firstborn sons and it

will be like a sign on your hand and a

symbol on your forehead that the Lord

brought us out of Egypt with a mighty

hand you'll never forgot that God saved

you that God bought you that we belong

to him that I am NOT my own that we owe

him our lives now isn't this ironic

because they're offering Jesus as the

first born to the Father they're

offering him to God guess who is the

firstborn over all creation of the new

creation the one who will set us free

not from physical slavery but from

spiritual slavery the one who will set

us free from slavery to Satan sin and

death the true Redeemer is that little

baby being offered to the Lord so as

they fulfill this law they're acting it

out and there's some people who had eyes

to see it right so I love the part when

we meet Simeon and Anna anyone know any

simians are on us old men and women of

God who have walked with him for many

years who pray hard some of you might be

simian Orana I know

couple people who've been praying who've

been seeking God for many years so we

see here these holy people who have a

holy dream the Bible says that Simeon

was righteous and devout he was in Old

Testament st. he loved yahoo a he loved

the Lord Anna was like the bride of the

Lord fasting and praying just for him

but they were both waiting for something

all these years that word is repeated

they were waiting simeon was waiting for

the consolation and the comfort of

israel honor spoke to all those who were

waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem

that emphasis of word waiting have you

ever found yourself waiting no in life

waiting for something to happen well the

word for waiting here is a biggie it

means weeding in a way that you're going

to receive what comes into your heart

you're waiting expectantly you're

waiting intensely you're ready and

willing to give and receive your longing

to receive something it's always in the

middle voice which which means that

you're waiting for something that you're

going to give yourself to completely

there's a waiting there's a long and

going on you can almost taste it and

when you're waiting for something maybe

you don't even know what you're waiting

for sometimes I don't know what it is

but there's something I'm waiting for

well Simeon and Anna were waiting

because they had a dream they had a

dream about Israel now for them this was

very literal this was the God had

promised that the nation of Israel would

have a special nation a special purpose

that they would be a kingdom and priests

that they would declare the praises of

Yahweh to the whole world and they were

waiting for the dream to come true think

about what Simeon and Anna must have

talked about two people saying you know

someday it's going to be different

someday this country this city is going

to look different in the last days

says the mountain of the Lord's temple

will be established as the highest of

the mountains it will be exalted above

the hills and all the nations will

stream to it I could imagine semi and

just looking up and saying I can see it

I can taste it it's going to be amazing

the comfort of Israel in Isaiah chapter

40 it says comfort comfort my people

says your God speak tenderly to

Jerusalem and proclaimed her that her

hard service has been completed her sin

has been paid for she has received from

the Lord's hand double for all her sins

is anyone waiting for that glory of God

to be shown in your life and in this

world the Bible says that the creation

of itself is in the is in the agony of

childbirth it groans because this world

is under the influence of sin and Satan

and things are not capital n ot the way

they're supposed to be when you watch

what's on the news ninety-five percent

of it is not the way it's supposed to be

that's why we pray God thy kingdom come

Thy will be done on earth as it is in

heaven there's a defiance I think God I

refuse to accept that this world is the

way it's supposed to be this sickness

this sin this does this war this

violence this injustice poverty

everything that denigrates and degrades

and humiliate people no that is not your

intention car I refuse to accept that I

insist on believing God that there is a

have and I will dream that dream that

you will do something beautiful in this

earth that you will make all things new

that you are the resurrection and the

life and that the shroud that covers all

nations will one day be lifted a world

without war sin hey or corruption award

when a world where no child dies alone a

world where there is no more loneliness

or depression or a different world can

you just imagine Simeon and Anna telling

people it's going to be different

someday this world is going to change

and you know what they would look at I

could just imagine the fire in their old

eyes and it's going to start right here

in Jerusalem you see the Lord's going to

come back to his temple and what most

people would imagine with that would be

the fire that we see in the picture when

we show the tabernacle right but God

surprised everyone because he didn't

come back as a blaze of fire to the

temple he came back to his temple as a

little baby with two parents who

couldn't afford a goat but Yahweh was

coming back to his temple to start

changing the world from the inside out

just like he's going to change the human

heart from the inside out starting right

there right in the temple right in

Jerusalem a certain agent of life was

going to start to work and change the

world Simeon and Anna had eyes to see it

arise and shine for your light is comet

says in Isaiah 60 and the glory of the

lord rises upon you to darkness covers

the earth we know that thick darkness is

over the peoples but the lord rises upon

you it says in Isaiah 60 it says his

glory appears over you nations will come

to your light and Kings to the

brightness of your dawn lift up your

eyes and look about you

assemble and come to you your son's come

from afar and your daughters are carried

on the hip then you will look and be

radiant your heart with Rob and swell

with joy the wealth on the Seas will

come to you the riches of the nations

and God promises that this world will

change I'm going to change it God says I

will make peace your governor and

well-being your ruler God promises no

longer with violence be heard in your

land nor ruin or destruction within your

borders but you will call your wall

salvation in your gates praise the sun

will no more be your light by day nor

will the brightness of the moon shine on

you for the Lord will be your

everlasting light and your God will be

your glory your son will never set again

and your moon will wane no more the Lord

will be your everlasting light and your

days of sorrow will end then all your

people will be righteous and they will

possess the land forever they are the

shoot I have planted the works of my

hands for the display of my splendor the

least of you will become a thousand the

smallest a mighty nation i am the lord

says the lord and in its time i will do

this swiftly it began with Jesus the

dreams and longings of thousands of

years of Israelites looking forward to

when God would come and change this

world then he would set up his kingdom

on earth Simeon had eyes to see that

that was all happening in this little

baby I encourage us to think it's

important to think about heaven to think

about the fact that you know what time

is short Jesus is going to come back and

I think some of this is more literal

than we might think pasado rental has

been encouraging me to notice that in

Scripture that Israel has a part to play

in all this that Jesus is going to come

back there will be a transformation in


literal Geographic political Israel

there will I believe be a revival that

will focus their people will come to

recognize Yeshua Jesus as the Savior the

gods glory that the mountain of the

temple the Lord will be exalted as chief

among the mountains the nations will

stream to it in an endtime revival and

in the end when Jesus comes back to rule

in his temple in jerusalem that this

world and heavens and earth will be

folded back and become new and the

kingdom of god will come and that there

will be a resurrection i don't know

exactly how it's all going to fit

together but I do believe will live

again not just spiritually but

physically jesus said I am the

resurrection and the life he can

transmit resurrection to us new bodies

new nature new heaven new skies new

trees new music new animals knew me knew

you knew food it's gonna be amazing

jesus said I won't need this this feast

again when he's drinking the wine and

the bread he says I'm not gonna drink

from the fruit of the vine again until I

do with the new with you in the kingdom

of heaven there's going to be a banquet

there's going to be a feast and we will

all be ceremonially and internally clean

before our God that's something look

forward to it's something to dream about

you see that's what I might know what I

think I want a need in life what I'm

longing for but that's what I'm really

longing for Jesus is that satisfaction

of the soul he's the fun I really need

that relationship with him that intimacy

with him the feeling that I'm

that I've come home to him that's what

I'm really longing for people look for

it in all kinds of different places

because we don't have eyes to see the

beauty behind the ordinary and we don't

see what God is doing but Simeon and

Anna did I want to talk about this

moment it says he couldn't see Jesus for

who he is on his own did you notice that

even this man all his years of praying

all his wisdom he only recognized Jesus

because the Bible repeats three times

the Holy Spirit made it possible for him

to do so it says at first that the Holy

Spirit was upon him the Holy Spirit upon

him then it says that the Holy Spirit

had revealed to him that he wouldn't die

until he saw the Lord's Christ the name

Christ means discipleship level one

anointed king he would see the king the

son of David he the spirits told him

that and then the spirit moved him into

the temple have you ever experienced

some of these things from the Holy

Spirit I hope have you felt the presence

of the Holy Spirit on you I hope you do

I believe our faith is not based on our

feelings but I would love for you to

feel the presence of the Holy Spirit

upon us I need to feel that embrace

because it's amazing right and it's good

the Holy Spirit upon him and then the

Holy Spirit revealed to him he would see

Jesus as the Holy Spirit ever revealed

anything to you before he may be trying

to he's trying to get the transmission

through but your spirit isn't connected

you gotta you gotta choose his network

can like click into it and the password

is I believe in jesus is my Lord and

Savior and then you're

you're clicked into that Network and

then you start getting text messages and

images that the Holy Spirit start

transmitting sorry but all that so the

Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us jesus

said the Holy Spirit will take from what

is mine and he will make it known to you

he will make it known to you he'll

reveal himself to you and then it says

the holy spirit moved him is that cool

have you ever felt the holy spirit move

you and guide your steps and you just

know I need to be here I need to talk to

that person I need to stay away from

there I need to say a way but and you're

the holy spirit moves you indulges you

and you notice that as you as you listen

to that it becomes more clear and as you

tune it out you know you usually regret

it you're like why didn't I listen why

didn't I listen the Holy Spirit told me

the holy spirit was moving Simeon in the

temple I could just imagine the crowds

of people and the worshippers coming and

going and animals making their noises

and he's just feeling it God's it's

gonna be today it's gonna be today and

he's going and then and then he sees

this poor couple with their pigeons that

they caught right and they're coming and

they got this little baby and who's

believe it or not was probably a normal

baby that cried you know Jesus you know

being son of that doesn't mean he did

anyway but they're carrying this normal

looking baby nothing to see here no big

deal and the Holy Spirit tells him he's

the one he's the one who will purify

hearts he's the one who will cause the

rising and falling and many in Israel

he's the one that will sit on David's

throne he's the one that will really

live out the whole idea of deliverance

from slavery he'll set us free from the

things that enslave us the chains you

can't see he's the one and he way he

takes Jesus in his arms it's just I love

the scene because this old old man

holding this baby in his arms and he

says Sovereign Lord very unusual word

for God hear the word in greek is des

poultice it's only used one other case

when the apostles were praying it means

my desperate my master my king you can

just dismiss your slave in peace I'm

good I'm good take me now and not like

Moses like just kill me now no he's

saying god I'm really good I've seen

everything I need to see I've never met

I've met some you know very elderly men

and women of God who who they're they're

talking to you loving you can just feel

though that they're halfway there you

know have you ever met someone like that

they already feel like you know what I'm

here doing what I got to do because God

wants me to because I really have to but

I really rather be there and I can

already taste it you know they've

already seen it Oh simeon was like that

he's like I have seen my eyes have seen

your salvation prepared before all the

people a light for revelation to the

Gentiles and the glory for your people

Israel this one is going to save the

world I scene and then he prophesized

that this isn't gonna come easy there's

going to be conflict there's going to be

people in Israel that speak against him

that resist him it's not going to be

smooth sailing and then he looks at Mary

right in the eye and says I have bad

news for you to my daughter and in

Spanish she would have said me mihai

I'll go but at the thumb BIA and you

know this is that paternal my daughter

the swords gonna pierce your heart too

he was seeing a head to a cross to a

grieving mother to some pain and sadness

but it was important for her to hear

that so that she could know that there's

going to be joy on the other side of

this that will come through this and so

this man he had eyes to see that his

dream were coming through it says that

Joseph and Mary marveled you know when

there's a new baby in the world there's

a sense of wonder it's like I just can't

believe this thing is real right can't

believe it happened again

another big it might cool you know yeah

and that's why Christmas is surrounded

by such a sense of wonder it's like this

is all true it's if this is real God

really did come to give us new hope to

give us salvation a baby is born a son

is given this isn't just a movie anymore

this is real and we're part of the story

he's coming to me and Anna then comes

and says the same thing this woman who

loved God and I'd like to challenge you

see all this would have been very easy

to miss most people just saw a couple a

poor young couple and a baby but it was

those two that were waiting for God's

answer that by the revelation of the

Spirit could see something special going

on and like i said before Jesus once

said to the Apostles blessed are the

eyes that see what you see because

prophets and Kings long ago long to see

it and they never saw it do you have

eyes to see God at work around you right

now there are people in this room that

should not even be here there are people

in this room that their lives have been

changed they've been saved we're here

seeking God we you me it's amazing do we

have eyes to see the beauty of what God

is doing around us eyes to see the

beauty of what God wanted to do but

beyond that do we have the faith to

believe that our simple obedience will

guide us to be in the right place at the

right time to see Jesus in the right way

do we believe that Mary and Joseph were

just doing what they were supposed to do

they were just going to the temple to

offer sacrifice for purification and

offer the redemption sacrifice they

didn't know they were doing anything so

special they were just obeying God

because it's what you do they weren't

expecting fireworks they certainly

weren't expecting a couple crazy old

people to tell the messages from God

right but they did I'd like to encourage

us the little acts of obedience again

coming back to the message last week we

were gripped by the reality

God obeying you counts obeying you is

our love language those simple obedience

is everyday being faithful to God doing

what he calls you to do in the little

things when no one's looking those

little things seeking God no one sees it

but God sees it and as I obey God and do

what I'm supposed to do I will be in the

right place at the right time I will be

able to fulfill my part in this story

that God is writing I may not see the

whole story I don't see where it's all

going I may not even want to obey but

I'm just going to do it because I know

that one step at a time you'll get me

where I'm supposed to be simple

obedience simple faith is part of an

amazing story that God is writing and

that he will fulfill and now the final

thing I want to close with this and I'll

be inviting the musicians he says here

that this little child will be a light

for revelation to the Gentiles that's us

Jesus came to reveal to us the beauty of

what God has for us unless you're Jewish

which we might have one or two we're all

Gentiles and God has opened our eyes to

see that this baby that we're

celebrating his birth is the answer to

all my wildest dreams and longings let

the Holy Spirit do that for you today

amen I'd invite us to stand together and

I want to invite us especially to pray

that God would open our eyes open our

eyes to see who Jesus is and father I

pray in Jesus name especially for my

brothers and sister some of whom are

going through very difficult things and

that becomes more difficult sometimes

during the holiday season god I thank

you Father that

the midst of gloom and deep darkness God

your light shines I thank you God that

your Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see

who Jesus is and the hope that you've

prepared for us Lord God lord I pray in

Jesus name that we would see you in your

beauty and your majesty and that we

would see the significance of our simple

and quiet and ordinary in quotation

marks obedience father I pray that we

would be a people walk in the script

that you have written for us lord god I

thank you that you sent Jesus that you

sent him God to fulfill your purpose to

change this dark world and to make it

new again and lord I thank you that that

day has already dawned even though the

darkness is still here the light is

already shining in our hearts and I pray

God that we would be sons and daughters

of light that wherever we are whatever

circumstances we are in that we would

carry the light of Jesus within us and

we would shine to a dark world that

there is a living God who has come to

set the captives free

god I thank you for that Holy Spirit do

your work in me and in us i pray in

Jesus name Amen