What's with these people? Why all the fuss?
What's your favorite way to talk with your friends? Online? A cell phone? shouting out your news in the street? Just kidding about the last one but if you didn't have technology you might! That's exactly what two characters in the Bible did...
Luke 2:21-38 introduces us to two new characters, Simeon and Anna. Now both of these folks were old, but I think we can still relate to them. They were both looking forward to something with all their hearts. I know you've done this at Christmas, a Birthday, maybe a visit from someone or something else. How did you act when you finally got that present, when that person showed up, or when you team won the game?
When Jesus shows up...
In a way, Simeon and Anna were waiting for Christmas...only they were waiting for the first Christmas. Their story takes place 8 days after the first Christmas when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for a dedication ceremony that Jewish people practiced back then. These ceremonies happened all the time, and Simeon and Anna were at the temple all the time, but when Jesus showed up something changed..
Simeon. This guy shows us two interesting things about just who this Jesus baby is:
- For all people! Where have we heard this before? Well verses 29-32 show Simeon's response to Jesus showing up. He praises God, surely causing all the people in the temple to look at him. Have you ever been so excited that you didn't care how silly you looked? Anyway, Simeon again sings about Jesus being for ALL people. Seems like we have a theme here...
- Tension. Check out verses 33-35. They may seem strange but essentially we learn that not everybody is going to accept Jesus as Simeon has. We need to keep reading to find out why people would not be excited about Jesus.
Anna. Anna was an old widow who stayed at the temple all the time. Can you imagine never leaving the church building? Now that's dedication!
- Thanks! (v38) Have you ever given someone a present and they didn't thank you? How did you feel? Well thanked God for the birth of Jesus. Why should she say "thanks" though? Think back to some of the things we've already read and pay attention for more as we keep reading...
- Redemption. (v38) This might be a new word, but it's powerful! Essentially it means "to take something broken and worthless and change into something beautiful and valuable." Can you think of any examples of this? Jesus came for broken people with broken hearts...to redeem them.
- Share the News! If Simeon and Anna had our technology there is no doubt they would be posting on facebook or using twitter, gchat, or buzz to share their news. Have you shared good news lately?
- When Jesus shows up. If Jesus showed up and brought a present called "redemption", what would it look like in you life? How would you react?