As we celebrate our seniors (Above 60 Years), we shall pick some lessons from Simeon and Annah, the elderly heroes in Luke 2:21-40 in birth narratives of Jesus.
They were devoted to God but had a kind of distress that they needed deliverance from. They needed comfort in their time of loss and disappointment. According to Jeff Peabody, in an article about Simeon and Anna December 17, 2021, they are stellar people, outstanding and
good. In their powerlessness God brought consolation through Christ’s birth. Simeon was described as righteous and devout (Luke 2:25). Anna was seen as a prophet (Luke 2: 36), which “she was gifted and unafraid to declare the word of the Lord.”
They were both very old. Simeon knew he was near the end of his earthly life.
Anna was 84, well beyond the era’s average life expectancy (v. 37).This limited their duration in the world though they lived above reproach and worthy of admiration. Grace through Christmost often appears when we have no resources of our own to meet the need.
Simeon and Anna were ready to welcome the change brought about by the era of Christ. They were eager to welcome the saviour. Jeff assures us that Simeon’s concept of waiting was transformed from ‘excruciating endurance to active anticipation’ because he counted the days until God revealed what He had promised to him personally. It is further explained that as Simeon gazed into the brandnew eyes of the Ancient of Days, Christ for him went from being “God with us” to “God with me.”Anna also was a widow who waited for God’s promise of Christ by
dwelling in the temple prayerfully.
Waiting on the Lord became her daily
practice instead of hopeless self-pity. Our mind-set like Anna needs to change from a desire to escape from hardship and patiently allow God’s will to be with us in the waiting moment. Simeon as it is related to his name, hearing intelligently, listened to God very well so he could not miss the communication of the Holy Spirit
as he waited. He could therefore step out and act in obedience to God. (Vs. 25-27)
The comfort of Christ changed the expectation of Simeon and Annah. When Simeon entered the temple and discovered Mary and Joseph with their new-born. He picked up baby Jesus (v. 28). He is different because of being the only person in the Bible who held the Christ child in his arms. Scholars affirm that he did not only meet but receive Him. Christ for him went from being “God with us” to “God with me.” Anna responded to Jesus much the same way as Simeon. Christ’s sheer existence was the only evidence she needed to recognize God’s redemptive hand. After seeing Christ Simeon became calm and Promised God that he could then die in peace. (Luke 2:29). In a similar way, without much physical change, Anna praised God for this new-born baby expected to redeem the world from oppression. Their expectation Changed from an earthly ruler to a Spiritual one.
Simeon and Anna Shared the Gospel . Annah in vs. 38 had a generous and an open mind to share this revelation of Christ with people around her and they were ready to receive. God’s comfort is intended to reach people outside the Kingdom. Like Anna, we need to share Christ who is able to fix all wrongs and bring consolation.
Isaiah 9:7 reveals how Christ will bring the endless peace to every believer.
May God help us remain devoted especially in Prayer and the word like these two Seniors.
The Very Rev. Canon Dr. Rebecca