So what do you think about Mary, the mother of Jesus?
With this past Sunday’s sermon we concluded the story of the birth of Jesus. Luke shows us clearly through the words of his mother, Mary, and through Anna and Simeon, the amazing significance of Jesus.
They all understood, at least in part, the significance of Jesus and it caused great joy!
As we begin a new year, we’re going to be spending a lot of time doing what Mary and Simeon and Anna did, focusing on Jesus.
As we think about bucket lists, they are simply questions of what do I want to do with the rest of my life. Unlike many places around the world, we Americans have the distinct privilege to ask a question like that. We can dream.
For Mary, she is a teenager whom God broke into her world in a major way. If you’re a teenager, what are your dreams? Mary is an example to follow because she saw herself as a servant of God. No matter what this “mother of the Messiah” business meant, she was all in. She heard some glorious things, and from Simeon she heard some downright scary things, about what being the mother of the Messiah could mean. But at a young age, she accepted her role, come what may. Her beautiful song is a description of her amazing commitment to the Lord.
Joseph is a man expecting to lead a normal carpenter’s life and God showed up quite unexpectedly. If you’re in your working years, you know that life sometimes throws your curveballs like it did for Joseph. Just about all of us have had things work out very differently than we planned on. Oftentimes plans go wrong and life can be harder than we want. What could it mean for us to follow the Lord in the midst of disappointment?
Anna was an elderly lady, widowed for a long time, passionate about the Lord. Some of you know a thing or two about being in your elderly years, being widowed, for a long time. You have experienced a lot in life. Joy and sadness. Let Anna be an example for you, of a person who is passionate about the Lord as the years go by. One of our homebound members, every single time I visit with her and just about every time I talk with her on the phone says “I wonder why the Lord doesn’t just take me home?” Next time I visit her I’m going to talk about Anna.
In closing there is the Bucket List guy, Simeon. A man, middle age, maybe older, whose one bucket list item had the God guarantee, that he would see Jesus. What is on your bucket list? What should be on your bucket list?
Simeon wanted to lay eyes on the Messiah. As we think about Advent, the entire idea of Advent is that Jesus has come. And when we celebrate Advent we also remember that he said he is coming again. Simeon had the Bucket List guarantee about the first coming of the Messiah. I don’t know if God is giving out any more Bucket List guarantees, but I think it would be pretty cool to have Simeon’s, to see the second coming of the King.
While we might not get that guarantee, what the characters in the story all point to is the answer to the question: what should we have on our Bucket Lists.
These four characters are in very different stages of life, but their heart’s desire is identical. They are passionate about Jesus.
What could it look like to be passionate about Jesus at your stage in life? In each of these characters we have examples of people to follow.
Their focus, all of them, were on Jesus, the Savior of the World. If we are imitate them, our focus should be on Jesus too. Do you need to spend more time with him? Do you need to get to know him better? Do you feel distant?
What will it look like in 2015 for you to focus more on Jesus?