As the church re-opens, we continue our new sermon series ‘Preparing Advent’.
Preaching from Nathan Gordon with our worship service led by Beverley Sills.
Jesus was just 8 days old when His parents as custom brought him to the temple in Jerusalem, “to present him to the Lord” – v22. Such an occasion would have ordinarily been a joyous occasion for the family; however, this ceremony was distinctly unique. Luke includes the story of Simeon and Anna whose actions and involvement in the early stages of Jesus’ childhood, offers a powerful lesson of patience and faith in God.
What was Simeon & Anna waiting for?
- The consolation of Israel – for the promised Messiah to alleviate grief, loss, and trouble from the nation. To remove sorrow and comfort the nation after a long history of bondage. (See Isaiah 40:1-2)
- The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
- A light for revelation to the Gentiles v32
- Anna – after a 7-year marriage, the widowed Anna lived in the Temple fasting and praying.
As we explore the ministries of Simeon and Anna what can we glean from their lives? What lessons can we learn from their patience and faith in God’s promises?
1 Human expectations vs Godly expectations – v25-26 & 37
- God’s timing is not always congruent with our timeframes
- Simeon placed his trust and confidence in God’s revelation through the Holy Spirit
- Anna found strength after the death of her husband through fasting and prayer
Saint Augustine’s view on faith and works
……………. as though everything depended on God
……………. as though everything depended on you
Thus, also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2:17 NKJV
2 The role of the Holy Spirit in seasons of waiting – v25-27
- Simeon was righteous and devout but the most important attribute which helped him exercise patience was the role of the Holy Spirit.
- Pre-Pentecost Holy Spirit encounters – Gen 1:2, Job 26:13, Is 32.15, 2 Sam 23:2, Ps 143:10 & others)
3 The Appropriate response to fulfilled promises – v29-32 & 38
- Both Simeon & Anna praised God for the fulfilment of Gods promises
- The importance of giving God the glory
What has God through his Word and Holy Spirit revealed to you? Are there any promises that you have yet to see fulfilled in your life? Like Simeon and Anna, I pray that God will give you strength in the waiting season, to trust his word and to never doubt his promises. In God’s timing, He will fulfil what was revealed to you.
2 Corinthians 1:2
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him, the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
- What is one thing you have waited a long time for and what did you learn during the process of waiting?
- Discuss how waiting can help you grow spiritually?
- Do you agree with Saint Augustine’s quote? “Pray as though everything depended on God and work as though everything depended on you” discuss your reasons for or against.
- How did Jesus fulfil both Simeon’s expectation for the consolation of Israel and Anna’s expectation for the redemption of Jerusalem? (v. 25, 38)
- What are some practical things you can do to encourage the members of your group as they wait on the Lord?
Sermon Title: Waiting for salvation – Simeon & Anna
Bible Reading: Luke 2:21-40
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Beverley Sills