Summary: A short talk for a Christmas Eve communion service on the anticipation of Simeon and Anna, and how they recongised the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams
Simeon and Anna: Anticipation and recognition. Christmas Eve Communion service 24th Dec 2004. Lk 2:21-40
It¡¦s almost Christmas day!
- bet the kids will be up¡Know or early
o have you ever snuck downstairs to look at presents?
„X Bike! Find out it¡¦s not for you!
o Open stocking and fall asleep amid the wrappers!
Letters of hope and anticipation to ¡¥Santa¡¦:
Dear Santa Claus,
When you come to my house there will be cookies for you. But if you are real hungry you can use our phone and order a pizza to go.
I want a Puppy. I want a playhouse. Thank you. I¡¦ve been good most of the time. Sometimes I¡¦m wild.
Dear Santa, (From a 4-year-old) I
I¡¦ll take anything because I haven¡¦t been that good.
I¡¦m not going to ask for a lot. Here¡¦s my list: The Etch-A-Sketch animator, 2 packs of #2 pencils, Crayola fat markers and the big gift...my own colour TV! Well, maybe you could drop the pencils; I don¡¦t want to be really selfish.
And it¡¦s not just anticipation about that stuff
- it¡¦s anticipation of a very special day!
- A day¡K event we thank God for
Now- we¡¦re familiar with that kind of anticipation¡K. And maybe the anticipation of Mary as she waits to give birth. The journey. The waiting
- and we wait with her, in one sense. Tonight.
Maybe you¡¦re familiar with the fact that people had been waiting a long time for this event
- the first hints about the Messiah were made to Abraham ~ 200BC
- expectancy had grown. Fed by many words from prophets throughout the OT who help build up something of the jig-saw-puzzle picture of the ¡¥Messiah¡¦ (anointed one)
o build the expectancy
o build it to a point of longing and groaning
„X enhanced by 300 + years of prophetic silence and some decades of occupation
„X ¡§God, come and redeem us! Rescue us! Save us!¡¨
There should be an excited anticipation in us, as well, tonight
- in many there is a huge longing. A groaning. ¡§God, help! When are you going to do something? When are you coming? Can you save me¡¨
- maybe they¡K we don¡¦t know who we¡¦re groaning to. But pray and groan MOST folks DO.
But there are a couple of individuals who waited, anticipated longer than Mary and Joseph. Not longer than the Jewish people¡K but maybe longer than virtually every other individual
- they always get missed out of the Christmas cards¡K are never in the nativity scenes¡K and are in few sermons
o but they are there in the Christmas story. Waiting. Anticipating
Simeon and Anna
- Anna is described as ¡¥very old¡¦. She was either 84 or 91 (ancient for those days!)
- Simeon was waiting for the Messiah: the one who would bring comfort and consolation. Probably had been waiting all his life
o Righteous, devout. Holy Spirit upon him (rare!)
o God had revealed to him: ¡§you will see what you have been waiting for¡¨
And at the time that Mary and Joseph come to circumcise Jesus and offer thanks and sacrifice for him
- the Holy Spirit somehow leads him down to the temple