Simeon and Anna

Two Senior Citizens

Simeon said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.”  Luke 2:29-30 (ESV)

The Christmas message is one of hope for all. Jesus came as a helpless baby to a poor couple. His birth was not announced to great leaders, but to outcast shepherds and two senior citizens.

We are not told how old Simeon was or even who he was—possibly a priest. We do know that he was a faithful man who knew the scriptures. Simeon was focused. He had one purpose to fulfill before he died. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ, the Messiah.

One day, led by the Spirit into the temple, he saw a young couple who had come to dedicate their baby. This happened almost every day, for the Law required every first-born forty-day-old male child to be dedicated. When Simeon took the child into his arms, the Holy Spirit told him that this was the One for whom he had been waiting—this baby was the Christ.

As Simeon prayed for the child, the Spirit gave him prophetic words:

“in the presence of all peoples” . . . Simeon spoke in the Outer Court of the temple where even women and non-Israelites were allowed

“a light for revelation to the Gentiles”. . . God was revealing something that went beyond the Israelites

“glory to your people Israel”. . . but through this, Israel would be glorified (Luke 2:31-32)

Simeon had barely finished speaking when Anna, a prophetess, came up and confirmed his message. Anna was an 84-year-old widow who “did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.” Full of excitement, she gave thanks to God and hurried off to tell others she knew were also waiting “for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36-38). These two seniors were the first to publicly announce the coming of the Christ.
We may lose physical strength and abilities as we grow older, but through the Holy Spirit, God gives us inner strength and gifts to use to benefit others.

Read Luke 2:25-38. How does the passage describe the faith of Anna and Simeon?

Read Psalm 39:4-5. How does the psalmist describe life? What does it mean to “number our days”?

Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-28. Has God given you gifts that could benefit others?

Nancy J. Baker

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