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This Week at JMPC 12.22.19

Since I was a boy, my family has been enamored with ice hockey. I never had an opportunity to play, but we were all big fans. My parents had season tickets to the Pittsburgh Hornets. My favorite player was Hank Basson, the goalie. Then along came the Penguins. The team was born in 1967. The promise of an NHL team in Pittsburgh was pretty awesome. Expectations were high. I remember the contest that was run to name the team. Folks mailed in their suggestions. We sent in several. “Penguins” was not one of them. When that name was announced, we moaned. “Named after flightless birds? What kind of name is that? No team named the Penguins would ever win anything.” We were prophetic. It was one of the worst franchises in the NHL. It went bankrupt in 1975, only eight years later. It was about then that I came to the conclusion that even at my young age (then 20) I would never live to see the Penguins win a Stanley Cup. But then along came the 1990-91 season. Mario Lemieux and company won the Cup! Something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime actually happened. I called my brother and we jumped up and down together via long distance! The Pens have won a few more since that time (and gone bankrupt one more time), but that day in 1991 was darn memorable.
That is the kind of thing that Simeon experienced. He was a devout man who had been promised by God that he would not die until he saw the Messiah. This must have been hard for him to believe because Israel had been waiting for Messiah for maybe a millennium. And Simeon was pretty sure he was not going to live forever. And he was getting old and maybe getting ready for his eternal rest. I am sure he was not optimistic. But then he saw Mary, Joseph and little baby Jesus. When he saw the baby, he was inspired with the knowledge that this baby was the one! The Messiah! It was then Simeon knew that he could die a happy man. So maybe Simeon’s experience of seeing Jesus was a bit more profound than mine in seeing the Pens win the Cup, but you get the idea. Come and hear about it this Sunday, the 4th and last Sunday of advent at 8:30 when Pastor Jeff preaches “The Song of Simeon” based on Luke 2: 25-35. Then hang around for the Children’s pageant at the 11:00 service. Come celebrate the season with us at JMPC!

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