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A Word on Worship “Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth”” (John 4:21-24). Praise God that the coming of Jesus means we worship a God who is near, a God who pursues us.
Call to Worship She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:21-23
Song - O Come O Come Emmanuel
Song - Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
The fourth candle represents peace and is called the "Angel’s Candle." The angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace--He came to bring people close to God and to each other again.
Assurance of Grace
Scripture - Luke 2:21-35(ESV)
21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Jesus Presented at the Temple
22 And 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 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant[a] depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
Why do you think Simeon was important in communicating to Joseph and Mary what the Lord had shown him (vv. 28-32)?
How did Joseph and Mary react (v. 33)? From this (and from v. 19), how much do you think Joseph and Mary understood about what God was doing in their lives?
What does Simeon’s song (vv. 29-32), along with Zechariah’s (vv. 67-79) and Mary’s (vv. 46-55) communicate about the Larger Story God was unfolding?
Song - He Shall Reign Forevermore