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WITNESSES TO CHRIST’S BIRTH:
Simeon and Anna

I. Introduction: 

 This time of year is often characterized by anticipation.  We anticipate the finishing of the year or the coming of the new year.  We anticipate spending time with family friends.  We anticipate a little time off from work.  We anticipate giving (and receiving) gifts.  I remember being especially excited about that last one as a kid (and even now).  Of course, none of these are necessarily bad things to be anticipating.  Yet, they are not the thing to anticipate either.  We learn a lesson about what we should truly anticipate from two witnesses to Christ’s birth: Simeon and Anna.

II. The anticipation of Simeon and Anna:

 A. Simeon: Luke describes Simeon as righteous and devout and waiting for the consolation of Israel.  We are also told that the Holy Spirit was upon him.  In fact, the Holy Spirit had given him a promise: before he dies he would see the Lord’s Christ.   So Simeon is waiting for the Christ.  And when he sees Jesus, he knows that his wait is over.  He exclaims: Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word (now he could die) for my eyes have seen your salvation.  Simeon has been waiting to see the Lord’s salvation, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and when he looks at Christ, he states: ‘Here He is!  Here is the One who will save both Jews and Gentiles.  Here is the Savior.’  Simeon believed the promise that the Holy Spirit had given him.  He waited eagerly for the Christ.  And he was not disappointed.

 B. Anna: Luke describes Anna as a prophetess…of the tribe of Asher.  He tells us that she was advanced in years, being a widow for many of those years.  She was constantly at the Temple worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day.  Like Simeon, she too was a devout believer in Yahweh.  And apparently she was also waiting for His promise to redeem Jerusalem to be fulfilled.  Luke tells us that when she saw Jesus she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting.  She was expecting a Redeemer.  She spent day and night looking to the Lord.  She longed for the Promised One to come.  And she was not disappointed.

III.  Conclusion:

 Christmas is a season filled with anticipation.  Yet, as believers in Christ, as those who believe with Simeon and Anna that the child born to Mary and Joseph and presented in the Temple so long ago is indeed the Savior, may we anticipate His return.  Like Simeon, we have a promise from the Holy Spirit that Christ will indeed return.  He is coming back for His people.  He is not coming to suffer and die for sin as He did before.  No, the price for our forgiveness has been paid.  When He comes the second time, He is coming to take us to be with Him forever.  Talk about something to anticipate.  May we be like Simeon and Anna.  May we long for the coming of the Christ.  May we anticipate the return of our Savior.  Come Lord Jesus!  Amen!

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 December 2010 )

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