First Sunday after Christmas
December 30, 2018
Lutheran Service Book (LSB) hymnal
Opening Hymn 797 Praise the Almighty
The Service of the Word p. 184
The Confession of Sins
The Psalm 89:1-9
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 186
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 189
The Old Testament (See Printed Scriptures below)
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 191
Hymn of the Day 389 Let All Together Praise Our God
The Holy Spirit has written: 33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them. Thus far the text.
Let us pray: Gracious Father, who gave Simeon to speak marvelous words about Jesus in the temple. Joseph and Mary believed and received a blessing. Grant us to believe Your Word and receive Your blessing. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Joseph and Mary have heard prophecies said of their Child before Simeon.
The angel, Gabriel, said to (Mary), “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” and again he said “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” and again he said to Mary “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Mary believed what Gabriel solemnly declared in her hearing.
Also, the angel of the Lord said to Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Joseph believed what Gabriel solemnly declared in his hearing.
Now, it is 40 days later. It is the time for Mary’s purification by offering a sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or a pair of young pigeons at the temple.
Simeon appears, aged and holy. Think of Simeon as all the prophets rolled into one. The prophets all wanted to see this day.
Simeon says, “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.” Lk 2:29–32.
Joseph and Mary do what? They marvel. They continued to believe the Gospel. For the Gospel is nothing but a sermon whose theme is Christ. Gabriel, Simeon, the whole host of angels and the shepherds, the wise men all come to Joseph and Mary and preached the Gospel. Joseph and Mary believe.
There were many in the temple that day. Many heard the words of Simeon. How many believed? A few. Joseph, Mary, Simeon, and Anna all received the Gospel with joy and wonder. The Evangelist Luke, is therefore also rebuking the the unbelieving Jewish people because this sermon was preached publicly in the temple. It is also good for us to hear the Word of God gladly. The Gospel will have its effect by producing good works in us.
What does it mean for us to bring Christ into the temple? Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple, the house of God where He promised He could be found. Today, you won’t find Jesus is the remains of that temple, torn down in 70AD. He now promises to be found in His Scriptures.
Let us follow the example of those mentioned in Act 17:11. After they received the Word of God with all readiness of mind, they went into the Holy Scriptures, daily examining them to see if what they heard was true or not.
For us, Simeon represents all the Old Testament prophets wrapped into one. All those prophets waited for this day, just like Simeon waited. St. Peter says all those prophets spoke about this day (Acts 3:24). Christ Himself says in Matthew 11:13 that all the law and the prophets prophesied until John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan river.
All this was signified by Simeon who was not going to die until he had seen Christ. None of the prophets saw Christ. He wasn’t born yet.
But Moses did say, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear” Dt 18:15.
And Isaiah also said, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily” Is 28:16.
Simeon gently held Jesus in his arms. He saw what all the old prophets wanted to see. Jesus. The Christ.
The text does not say the Joseph and Mary marveled at the saying of Simeon. Rather, they marveled at all those things that were spoken of Jesus.
Simeon represents all those prophets that said all those things recorded in the Old Testament. Joseph and Mary believed all those things.
Joseph and Mary represent the whole church. All those who believe all those things. Like you. You believe all those things said of Jesus in the Old Testament. You marvel at all those sayings of the prophets because they so beautifully and precisely apply to Christ. Those prophets speak so highly of Christ and so beautifully demonstrate the whole truth of the Gospel. There is no greater delight than to experience this beauty when reading and hearing the Holy Scriptures.
But not all marvel at those sayings. And not all believe those sayings apply to Christ. The great multitude despise Simeon and all the prophets. Even today, the church is the butt of jokes, Christians are depicted as old-fashioned or dumb.
But not you. You marvel at all those things said of Jesus just like Joseph and Mary.
And you believe what they say. Thanks be to God that this Child, born so lowly, would accomplish your salvation by His mighty works and resurrection from the dead; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The peace of God, which passes understanding, will guard and keep you in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
The Offertory p. 192
Prayer of the Church
The Service of the Sacrament
Sanctus p. 195
The Lord’s Prayer p. 196
The Words of Our Lord p. 197
The Pax Domini
The Agnus Dei p. 198
656 A Mighty Fortress
636 Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness
406 To Jordan Came the Christ
750 If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee
The Nunc Dimittis p. 199
The Thanksgiving p. 200
The Benedicamus p. 201
The Benediction p 202
Closing Hymn 578 Thy Srong Word