The prophet Isaiah speaks about the transformation that God has in store for God's people. Having been laid bare in poverty and weakness, they'll be clothed in "garments of salvation" and in a "robe of righteousness." Having been named as "Forsaken" and "Desolate," the prophet announces God's desire to restore his people. They will be called by new names, "Delight" and "Married."
The new clothes and new names signify a new identity, a vision for a future that has God coming to be with his people, standing with them and making God's people a blessing for all of God's creation.
As the baby Jesus is brought to the Temple, Luke describes two prophets encountering the young couple and their baby.
First is Simeon who is elated that the promise of God's salvation for God's people has been fulfilled. Simeon is a "watchman" who awaits patiently for God to act. His long watch discovers its fulfillment in this baby, and his prophecy is compelling in its candor.
Then there is Anna who also affirms this baby as the Promised One from God who has come, and she shares the good news with others. God's salvation has come to God's people. There is a future ahead that means God has come once again to redeem and restore God's people.
The new life promises in scriptures urge us to consider what new things God would do in our coming year. Find the lessons of patience and promise guiding your way. Explore this in further detail in the sermon video below, noting the downloads available below the video panel.