SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1:67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
because he has come to help and has redeemed his people.
69 For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us.
72 He has done this to show mercy to our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant—
73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham.
This oath grants
74 that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
may serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him for as long as we live.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High.
For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.
78 Because of our God’s tender mercy,
the dawn will break upon us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child kept growing and becoming strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he was revealed to Israel.
2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. 2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 Everyone went to his own town to be registered. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: 11 Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. 17 When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. 19 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. 20 So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.
21 At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be set apart to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous and devout, looking for the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So Simeon, directed by the Spirit, came into the temple courts, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and blessed God, saying,
29 “Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: