It’s been a busy weekend. I was able to share a message yesterday in church about our expectations of Christmas. This weekend just reaffirmed by huge respect for bi-vocational pastors. Juggling the demands of a full-time job with the responsibilities to prepare messages, minister to those in need, and most importantly, minister and be there for your family is HUGE. I really admire the pastors in smaller churches that are called to carry that load. At Cornerstone, we currently have a group of elders and teachers that share the preaching load. For me, just preaching every few weeks and planning youth meetings & events is really tough when you are busy at work.
My message this week was on Simeon & Anna from Luke chapter 2. I think this is one of those passages that is typically overlooked in our studies. By looking at the Biblical account of Simeon and Anna, we can see how their expectations of a Savior led them to action. As Christians, shouldn’t our expectations of Christmas lead us to Christ? In my studying it really hit me hard that Simeon and Anna were in the temple worshiping and waiting. Especially considering the 400 silent years between the prophecies of the Old Testament and the birth of Christ. I can’t imagine that we would be patient enough to still be looking generation after generation after generation. We forget and lose track if we don’t get an answer in a few days. Patience is definitely not woven into the fabric of the American life. But here were Simeon and Anna, devoted to seeing the Christ Child, devoted to following the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
After looking at a little background from the Jewish ceremonies surrounding childbirth, we looked at four observations about Simeon & Anna and their expectations that also apply to us today.
1. Those who look for Christ will find Him.
2. They were led by the Holy Spirit
3. They knew how to Worship
4. They were ready to die, but more importantly, they were ready to truly LIVE.
So my question for you is this. Will you take the time to look for Christ during this Christmas Season? Or will you let the busyness, the inconvenience, and the distractions pull your focus to all the ‘stuff’ that takes our mind off of Christ? We say the same thing year after year, but it is so important to SIMPLIFY and focus on the Christ of Christmas. What will you expectations be for this Holiday season?