Sermon = Growing the child (Luke 2b)

Presentation at temple Jesus Mafa

“Presentation of Jesus at the Temple” (Vie de Jesus Mafa)

Sermon = Growing the child
Text = Luke 2b
Sunday = 1st Sunday after Christmas (B) or 1ChristmasB

Presentation_Luke2b_1ChristmasB_Growthechild_20171231

Introduction

    • This year I resolve to
    • *** Exercise more
    • Read at least one book every two weeks
    • Build one model every month
    • This year is interesting
    • Because both Christmas Eve and now New Year’s Day
    • Fall on a Sunday
    • *** A common theme this time of year
    • Look back at previous year
    • Look forward to coming year
    • Another is New Year’s resolutions
    • This year will be different
    • This year I resolve to
    • So many resolutions we do not keep
    • Let me suggest one for all of us
    • For all Christian believers
    • *** When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord… When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

    • Christ is born! Glorify him!
    • Baby is born! Congratulations!
    • Someone professes faith in Christ! Alleluia!
    • A child is married!
    • Christmas both fulfills and begins
    • *** Fulfills promises God makes to his people
    • Fulfills purposes of God to redeem creation
    • See this throughout Scripture
    • Especially in blessing Simeon pronounces

 

  • According to your word… that you have prepared…
  • A light for revelation to the nations / glory for your people Israel

 

    • Christmas fulfills and begins
    • Christ is born – now Jesus grows up
    • How does the divine infant became an adult?
    • Even God does not become human in a day
    • Prophecy… announcement… pregnancy… birth
    • Even Christ the babe does not become an adult in one night

 

  • The child grew up and became strong
  • Filled with wisdom
  • The grace of God was upon him

 

    • *** How?
    • When child grows up + becomes mature young woman
    • Begins graduate school / is married
    • How did this happen?
    • Where do saints come from?

    • Scripture much more complex than it looks
    • Will focus on a few things
    • Who + what play a role in growing the child
    • Jesus son of Mary and son of God?
    • Note how often we hear
    • *** In accordance with law of Moses / in law of the Lord / customary under the law
    • Who plays a role?
    • Joseph + Mary do
    • Parents including Joseph = step-father
    • Parents who act consistently according to teaching of the Lord
    • Consistent throughout gospel of Luke
    • Story of New Testament continues + is consistent with Old
    • People of God act according to teaching of God
    • In Scripture
    • Perhaps in tradition of how people of God interpret + apply
    • Learn / ruminate / recite / teach / practice what the Lord teaches

 

  • Blessings of the one who delights in teaching of the Lord
  • Ruminates on God’s teaching day + night
  • Like a tree planted by streams of water

 

    • Second note the role of the Holy Spirit
    • Simeon – the Holy Spirit rested on him
    • Revealed to him / led by the Spirit
    • Also consistent in Gospel of Luke
    • Mary asks how can this be

 

  • Power of the Holy Spirit will come upon you

 

  • Spirit leads / reveals / makes possible
  • Spirit reveals + leads people of God
  • In new and unexpected ways
  • Yet consistent with how God + Holy Spirit speak through Scripture
  • Seraphim of Sarov
  • Friend Ivan Motovilov asks “what is chief aim of Christian life?”
  • Serpahim answers “gain the Holy Spirit”
  • How? Many ways
  • Most basic and important = prayer

 

  • Anna the prophetess
  • *** Old / was married / never left the emple
  • Worshiped God with fasting and prayer
  • Prayer
  • And fasting and worship
  • Perhaps “spiritual practices”
  • Goal is to pray always
  • So do we pray sometimes
  • Maybe not two hours each day
  • Perhaps ten or fifteen minutes
  • No time? Work and family?
    While we drive or walk
  • Work or do chores
  • If you ask what is chief goal of pastoral ministry
  • That we be people of prayer
  • Not necessarily talking to God
  • Listening / being open to presence of God
  • Live + act in communion with God
  • Scripture
  • Holy Spirit
  • Prayer
  • Fasting and worship
  • Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to temple
  • Place of worship + prayer
  • Where they meet Simeon + Anna
  • Can we worship God anywhere? Of course
  • Especially place where people of God
  • Gather to offer praise and thanksgiving
  • And ritual
  • Temple also place of ritual
  • Speak + sing / listen + read
  • Also act
  • Here rituals of purification + offering
  • Difficult subject for Protestant Christianity
  • What rituals do we have?
  • Baptism and communion
  • Rituals can we create + develop together?
  • Advent Wreath
  • Sabbath keeping
  • Rituals especially important because rituals something children can do
  • Rod Dreher
  • Rituals and spiritual practices important
  • Nurture faith + commitment
  • As we travel deeper through a time when surrounding society + culture
  • Become more hostile to Christian faith + practice
  • What?
  • Who? Parents and step-parents
  • *** Younger + older
  • Men + women in the church
  • Simeon + Anna play a role
  • In growing the child Jesus who becomes an adult
  • Filled with wisdom + grace of God upon him
  • Who + how we grow children among us?
  • If we have no children? Grown?
  • Not married?
    Are a child?
  • We all have children to nurture + grow
  • Ourselves
  • Grow the child that is you
  • Rescued + adopted by God
  • Can that be resolution for this year
  • Grow
  • Grow the children
  • Grow the child
  • Cannot do it ourselves
  • Holy Spirit / grace / other believers
  • Ways we cooperate with these
  • *** Become even more
  • What we already are
  • Saints
  • Holy people of God
  • In whom others see salvation of God at work
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About Rickwright67

I am the pastor of a Methodist church, spent 18 years ministering with internationals, as an adjunct taught Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew, husband and dad, love astronomy, space exploration, science-fiction, computers, animals, cinema, and more.
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