Summary: Christmas message of Anna and Simeon waiting for the promised Messiah to come.
What Are You Waiting For?
Luke 2:25-38 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
-Kids (and probably some adults) have a hard time waiting for Christmas. Here are some letters that were written to Santa:
-Dear Santa: One x-mas eve I saw one of your elves in my living room looking to see if all kids were asleep before you came in. [please tell your elves to be careful this year as to not be seen by any other kids. - Matthew, 11, Elk Grove, California.
-Santa I think you’re the best person in the whole wide world and I love you so much. I’m glad thet you and Jesus get along so well. - Cody, 7, Evans, Georgia.
-I may be Jewish but I still love Santa Claus! Happy Hannukkah!!! Vanessa, 9
-Santa, I’m gonna leave you milk & cookies. But can you leave me 1 so we can share?
-My Daddy said if I am not good that you will have to give my toys to a little boy who is good. I think the little boy is going to get a lot of toys this year. Bryan, 5, Tacoma
-Dear Santa, (From a 4-year-old) I’ll take anything because I haven’t been that good.
-What are you waiting for this Christmas? Are you longing for anything? What are you expecting to receive? Are you looking forward to anything special this Christmas?
-In the Gospel of Luke, we find two people who appear in the closing scenes of the Christmas drama. One is a man named Simeon; the other is a woman named Anna. They don’t appear in nativity scenes or in many Christmas cards, but they are significant players in the first Christmas pageant. Both of these individuals were waiting for something -- actually, they were waiting for someone.
-Luke uses a Greek word of anticipation that identifies them as waiting with expectation for the coming of the Messiah, or Savior. It literally means that they were “alert to His appearance, and ready to welcome Him.” We see this word in Luke 2:25 in reference to Simeon where we read that “He was waiting...” and in 2:38 to describe a woman named Anna who was, “...looking forward to...”
-TS: Let’s take a look at what they were waiting for and see if it was worth the wait.
I. Simeon -- Waiting For Comfort
-Enter Simeon in Luke 2:25. “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon Him.” Simeon was righteous before people, and he was devout in His relationship with God.
-Things weren’t going that great for the nation of Israel in the first century. They hadn’t heard from God for around 400 years and were under Roman rule. They had lost their political independence and were living in fear of the evil King Herod, and many were wondering if the Messiah would ever come.
-Verse 26 shows us that Simeon had good reason for his hope and anticipation: “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”