New & expecting parents want their good news to just be good.
And people want Christmas to just be a feel-good celebration.
Simeon, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, disrupts Mary's good news, and our Christmas "feel-good" expectations, with sharp and heartbreaking words.
But this isn't just a case of good news being interrupted by bad...
It's a case of helping Mary and us understand just how good the Good News is.
Priceless Youth Ministry
Joshua Fast Interview with Joni and Friends
A Christmas Song from Simeon's perspective:
"I celebrate the day, that you were born to die..." I Celebrate the Day, Relient K:
Passages you can look at:
ALuke 2:21-35, Leviticus 12, Isaiah 40:1, Mark 10:45
1) Start with sharing what specific things stood at to you from the passage and message this week.
2) Seeking Growth: Simeon and the Spirit
...Simeon ... 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... Luke 2:25-27
Luke won't let us miss the prominence of the Holy Spirit's leading in Simeon's conversation with Mary.
a. The Holy Spirit will reinforce and never contradict God's revealed truth.
Identify the direct connections between Simeon's psalm and the psalms of Mary, Zechariah and the angels in Luke 1-2. (Specifics words, ideas and themes.)
b. Holy Spirit and Hard Conversations
Simeon was about to tell Mary one of the most difficult and heartbreaking things a parent could ever hear.
The Holy Spirit led him into this and was with him through this. Talk about the different things we can learn from this about the Holy Spirit and hard conversations.
This conversation was in Mary's best interests. Discuss why being willing to have hard conversations is a part of seeking good for our neighbours.
3) Seeking Growth: The message talked about how expecting or new parents want good news to be only good news. (They don't want any "buts") This is true of all of us at any time. In culture and in church, the emphasis on Christmas can be pretty exclusively on the "feel-good" things. But the Holy Spirit inspired Simeon to share "bad news" -and inspired Luke to write it into Scripture- as part of the Christmas story.
Talk about why we can't lose sight of the cross in the season where we emphasize the cradle.
4) Seeking God: The moment that Simeon gave Mary a foreshadowing of the death , she gained a bigger view of the gospel story than anyone else had in the Christmas story to this point: salvation and light would come in the context of Jesus' death.
Instead of seeing Simeon as ruining the good news with bad news, we should see the Holy Spirit using this supposed bad news to help Mary and us embrace the "capital G" Good News.
And I, I celebrate the day
That you were gorn to die
So I could one day pray for you to save my life.
-I Celebrate the Day, Relient K
Pray a Christmas prayer that includes adoration and thanksgiving for the cross and empty tomb.