SERMON TITLE: “Seeing Salvation”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 2:22-38
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: December 26, 2021, at First UMC
One of the things I enjoy doing at Christmas time is watching those classic movies like A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. It seems like no matter how many times I hear and see those stories, they still hold powerful meaning. Watching Ebenezer Scrooge change from a mean old man into a generous, cheerful soul is like witnessing a total conversion. Watching George Baily regain his purpose for living is like seeing salvation happen before our very eyes.
Seeing salvation. Sometimes we see salvation through the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Sometimes we see salvation through a dumpy angel named Clarence who needs to earn his wings. But, most of all, we who are Christians see salvation through a child who was born in Bethlehem. The classic drama that never grows old is the story of angels, shepherds, and wise men who all witnessed the infancy of Jesus and knew that they were seeing the salvation of God.
Today’s reading from the Gospel of Luke carries the Christmas story a little farther. Mary and Joseph take baby Jesus to Jerusalem to dedicate their firstborn child to God. There, in the temple, they encounter the 84-year-old Anna, a wise prophetess who is sure that Jesus is the answer to Israel’s redemption. There they also find Simeon, a devout man, who declares that his eyes have now seen God’s salvation. This morning, I invite you to consider this story with me and explore what seeing salvation can mean for us.