God comes to Simeon and Anna
Luke 2:22-38, Luke 2:22–40, Splash- More about Bible cards for group leaders, Splash- My child the Bible and me
Comes as Jesus, Comes to his people, Simeon and Anna
To be excited because Jesus has arrived.
The script below, SU Bible Timeline (optional).
1 Bible Timeline
Ask the children to find Luke 2:22–24 in their Bibles. Invite a volunteer to read this passage aloud. Explain that the Jewish people had been waiting for someone special to arrive. God’s messengers, the prophets, had spoken of him. Can the group fi nd the prophets on the Bible Timeline? Challenge them to use the Timeline to work out how long it was (roughly) between the prophets talking about Jesus’ coming and his birth.
2 Bible background
Ask a volunteer to read Luke 2:25–38. Talk about how it was the Jewish custom to take a newborn baby to the Temple to give thanks for their arrival and to offer a sacrifice. Say that the fact that Mary and Joseph offered two doves shows they were poor (see Leviticus 12:6–8).
Divide the children into groups of three, and give each group a Bible and a copy of the script below. Ask them to read through the Bible passage and script, and then to improvise the story using their own words and ideas. When they have had time to practise, invite them to present their sketch to the rest of the group.
Narrator: Simeon and Anna were both very old. They trusted God and believed that one day he would show them something very special. But they had been waiting a long time... One day they met in the Temple.
Simeon: Hello, Anna. You’re here again!
Anna: Where else would I be, Simeon? I love coming to the Temple to pray to God. Why are you here?
Simeon: Well, Anna, it probably sounds strange, but God told me that I would see the promised Messiah before I died, and I think he might be here today!
Anna: Praise God! I hope I can see him too, before I die. Neither of us is getting any younger!
Narrator: Just then, a young couple arrived at the Temple with a small baby. They had come to present him to God, to say thank you for him and to offer a sacrifice. When Simeon saw them, he rushed over and took the baby into his arms.
Simeon: Lord, I am your servant. Now I can die in peace, because you have kept your promise to me. With my own eyes I have seen what you have done to save your people, and other nations will also see this. Your mighty power is a light for all nations, and it will bring honour to your people Israel.
Narrator: The baby’s parents were amazed at Simeon’s words, for their baby was the promised Messiah that Simeon had been waiting for!
Anna: Praise God! The one who will set us free has arrived!
Ask the children who Simeon and Anna had been waiting for. Who actually came to the temple? How did Simeon and Anna react when Jesus arrived at the Temple? How would we feel if Jesus arrived now? Tell them that when Jesus grew up, he promised that he would be with us always, even though we can’t meet him now in person
– an exciting thought! Even more exciting is Jesus’ promise to come back one day – imagine how wonderful that will be!
With eyes closed, encourage the children to quietly thank God that Jesus arrived and wants to be their friend. Read the adapted words of Simeon below, as a final prayer.
‘Powerful God, thank you that because you came to us, we can now know your peace, and we can see your saving power which you give to all people. Amen.’
Script for ‘Dramatic Bible story’
This activity is from the Xstream programme for children aged 8 to 11. Each Xstream session is Bible-based and uses games, drama, quizzes, craft and discussion to help the children in their relationship with God.