The text is Luke’s version of the beatitudes. If you know them, you know them from Matthew. How they appear in Luke is quite different. Different is a way that invites a little comparison and contrast. Also different in a way that invites a much different interpretive focus. The focus of this sermon is how Jesus’ blessings and woes form a teaching on “the good life” for the disciple. Jesus’ teaching contrasts with both popular and philosophical examples of the good life in serious ways. Ways that every disciple should spend some time contemplating.
This sermon is some ways continues the contemplation between fortune and blessing started last Sunday, but it stands by itself, that continuation is just the pattern of the Chistian life. One person’s praise becomes the next person’s blessing and promise. This sermon focuses on the characters of Simeon and Anna, and specifically how they receive the blessings of God. There are three different ways we might respond. The pattern of Simeon is for us. He is “righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel.” If we receive the blessing, this is the pattern. (I’ve also left in a couple verses of a couple of the hymns sung. You forget how good “See Amid the Winter’s Snow” is.)