December 24, 2012

Well, it’s Christmas Eve!   I pray you will take some time today to reflect on the birth of our Savior.  In all the hustle and bustle, let us not forget to be watching and waiting expectantly for Jesus just as Simeon and Anna did so long ago.  Be blessed as you read Susan’s devotion below and give thanks to God for His indescribable gift!

Jacqueline Heider

Women’s Ministry

Christmas from Simeon and Anna’s Perspective


Christmas is upon us! What’s the anticipation level like at your house? Do you have little ones who can hardly sit still? Will some in your household find it difficult to sleep tonight? Our passage this week speaks to this very idea of anticipation and the blessing and benefits of patiently waiting for a gift of indescribable worth!
What do we learn about Simeon and Anna from this passage?
  • a righteous & devout man
  • at the temple when Jesus was brought for dedication
  • waiting for consolation of Israel
  • Holy Spirit was upon him
  • had been told he would see the Messiah before his death
  • praised and blessed God
  • blessed Mary and Joseph & told them of Jesus’ destiny
  • a prophetess, daughter of Phanuel from tribe of Asher
  • elderly widow
  • lived at the temple worshipping, fasting and praying
  • praised God
What do Simeon and Anna see?
They both encounter Jesus when he is brought to the temple for his dedication according to the Law of Moses.
How do the Simeon and Anna respond?
Simeon recognizes Jesus as the Messiah. He takes Jesus in his arms and blesses God. In verses 29-32 we read his prayer, but we need a little background to truly put this encounter in perspective. God’s promise of redemption had been long awaited. It had been 400 years since there had been any word from the Lord for his people. They had been waiting a very long time for the Messiah who would be their Savior and Deliverer. But this salvation was not for the Jewish people alone. We learn in verse 32 that Jesus is a light of revelation to the Gentiles. The Gentiles-unless you are of Jewish heritage-that’s you and me! Salvation had come! Immanuel, God with us, was a reality!
Can you imagine waiting so long? Simeon knew the truth of God’s law and the promise of a Messiah. Simeon was an old man, and he had been patiently waiting to see the salvation of the Lord. Salvation had arrived and his name was Jesus!
Anna was an elderly widow who spent her days and nights in the temple worshipping, fasting and praying. She was a prophetess. A prophetess was simply one who gave out the word of God. She had been doing this for at least 60+ years -waiting, praying, fasting, worshipping and sharing with others the Word of the Lord.
Anna sees Jesus and immediately begins to give thanks to God. Then in verse 38 we learn that she begins to speak of Him to all who had been waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
The long awaited day had finally arrived! Do you think it was as they had envisioned? Were their expectations fulfilled? I believe so. We find that they both praised God and told others!
What can we learn from Simeon and Anna’s perspective?
Simeon and Anna were two people who had learned to patiently wait, to persevere by believing and trusting God and His promise to fulfill his long awaited promise of redemption. Waiting can be so difficult, especially for those of us who like action and results! God’s word has much to say about waiting and its blessings and benefits. What are you anticipating or waiting on? Follow the example we find in Simeon and Anna. They faithfully served in God’s house. They praised and worshipped God. They fasted and prayed day and night and shared the truth of God’s word with others.
If you would like to study further the benefits and blessings of learning to wait on God, I encourage you to download the attached topical study While You Wait. Discover for yourself what God has to say about waiting in His Word.
Merry Christmas!
Susan Cady
Women’s Ministry Bible study Team