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Bible Study

Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-40)


Here we have a passage which seems to stand alone from the rest of Luke’s Gospel, introducing two characters, Simeon and Anna.

Notice in verse 25 Simeon is described as a devout man, on the look out for Gods working in Israel. Remember this is at a time when it must have felt to the Israelites that God was distant; after all there had been nothing heard from him for many years. Then in verse 36 we are told of Anna, who in verse 37 is described as living in the Temple worshipping every day.

Here indeed are two devout people.

Like Simeon and Anna, we as individuals and as Gods Church, are living in a time of change. For many years we have lived in a particular way, whereby the church’s place in society was understood and accepted and where we worshipped in a particular way. For Simeon and Anna the Temple was an important part of their lives, just as the Church (or Chapel) has been to many of us. However, Churches are finding up and down the country that they have to change and in some cases close, in order for some new work to begin.

Similarly ways of worshipping will change as the old gives way to the new. Simeon and Anna could have been apprehensive upon greeting the baby Messiah, but instead they are accepting of all that he will bring. Notice Simeons words in verse 32 "a light for revelation to the Gentiles". Here is a devout Jew accepting that God is going to do something amongst those who are not of the chosen race. How much can we accept that God is wanting do new things amongst those who are not of the church, and usually wanting to do it in new ways ?

Simeon and Anna represent the Old Testament and show that God was working through the faithful people of the past to prepare the way for what would happen in the future. Simeon and Anna were not to see the results of the Messiahs work but they were content to know that God was still working his purpose out. The words of Simeon in verse 29 are all important in our changing culture "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples…………………"

Our way of "being church" is passing away but the "fresh expressions" manifesting themselves now are a continuation of the same church, the same people of God, serving the same Lord. We can therefore live in hope and confidence, like Simeon and Anna, and pray for the new things God is doing, much of which we shall not see ourselves, although in some places the future has, as it were, already arrived.

In this day and age we are experiencing new hymns, different music, `messy` church, skateboarding church, café praise a resurgence of Celtic Christianity and non-alcoholic cocktail bar worship to name but a few. Its all change but under the guidance of a never changing God.

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