Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sermon Audio: A Sword will Pierce Your Soul (Simeon)

CLICK HERE (or right click to download) a Sermon from yesterday on Luke 2:22-38. My friend Jim does the reading, and then John Mason leads a creed, and the sermon starts 4 minutes in.

In that text, Simeon says to Mary, almost as an afterthought,
Behold, this child [Jesus] is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.
"A Sword will pierce your soul". Heavy. I explore those words. And hear why Comfort comes through Conflict; Peace through Pain, and Resurrection through Death.

Oh, and here is Frederick Buechner on Simeon in 'Peculiar Treasures':
Jesus was still in diapers when his parents brought him to the Temple in Jerusalem ‘to present him to the Lord’ (Luke 2:22), as the custom was, and offer a sacrifice, and that’s when old Simeon spotted him.

Years before, he’d been told he wouldn’t die till he’s seen the Messiah with his own two eyes, and time was running out. When the moment finally came, one look through his cataract lenses was all it took. He asked if it would be all right to hold the baby in his arms, and they told him to go ahead but be careful not to drop it.

‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,’ he said, the baby playing with the fringes of his beard. The parents were pleased as punch, and so he blessed them too for good measure. Then something about the mother stopped him, and his expression changed.

What he saw in her face was a long way off, but it was there so plainly he couldn’t pretend. 'A sword will pierce through your soul,' he said.
He would rather have bitten off his tongue than said it, but in that holy place he felt he had no choice. Then he handed her back the baby and departed in something less than the perfect peace he’d dreamed of all the long years of his waiting.
Tidy.

Listen HERE.

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1 comment:

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