This message uses the “post-Christmas blues” let-down as an example of how we sometimes wait for things and wind up disheartened. However, we know that waiting for God is always worth it, because He keeps His promises. The Gospel lesson that ties in is the story of Anna and Simeon in the temple. They waited for Jesus, and saw that the Lord fulfilled His word.
“Wait for it … God Does Not Disappoint!”
Children’s Sermon on Simeon and Anna at the Temple in Luke 2:22-40
Main Objective: This message reminds children that when we wait on God and trust in Him, He will always provide for us and fulfill His promises. The days following Christmas can feel like a let-down, when all of the excitement and anticipation come crashing to a halt and we’re left with drying pine needles and crumpled wrapping paper. Sometimes there are disappointments, if hope has been put in the wrong thing. Of course, we know (or should know) that the holiday is about much more than gifts and decorations. The true reason behind Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is something we can and should celebrate throughout the year. It’s the greatest gift we’ve ever received, and reminds us of God’s promises fulfilled.
Law/Gospel Theme: Simeon and Anna spent their lives awaiting the coming Messiah. God did not disappoint them, but allowed them to see Jesus. We know that God will always keep His covenants and promises to us. He is faithful and will satisfy. This doesn’t mean He always gives us just what we think we want, but He provides what we need. When we focus on this good news, we can recognize that Christmas isn’t a one-day event, but the culmination of God’s promises.
Optional Materials: Christmas supplies (gift paper; tinsel; etc.); gift bag (optional “lame” gift inside)
Bible Passage: Luke 2:22-40
More Teaching Ideas on Simeon and Anna at the Temple
- Watch our video demonstration of this children’s sermon on YouTube
- Don’t miss the related craft ideas and full Sunday School Lesson on Luke 2:22-40
- Compare another Bible lesson on Jesus being presented at the Temple
- Compare the rfour.org children’s sermon on Luke 2:22-40
Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:22-40) Children’s Sermon
Greet children, perhaps with a slight air of disappointment or sadness.
Hello, children of God…
So, that’s it…Christmas is all done, I guess. I mean, there are still some decorations and things on display, but the day is over. The presents are unwrapped. How was your Christmas this year? (Allow a few responses) I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. I mean, I waited and waited for Christmas to come, I opened my Advent calendar and counted down with my paper chain, and I was so excited, but really, this year was kind of a let-down! There are all sorts of things I usually get to do, like watch the Nutcracker Ballet, and make cookies with my friends, and see all of my family…and none of that got to happen in 2020. And even my gifts this year were lame. Look (optional: hold up items): I got Clorox wipes, toilet paper, and masks. I mean, I realize those are valuable things in 2020, but I was kind of hoping for something a little more exciting.
Do you ever feel like that? You get excited and you wait for something, and maybe it feels like you wait for a long time, and then you get disappointed with what happens? Perhaps your Christmas was like that. Or maybe your whole 2020 was like that! I guess if we are eagerly waiting for something like parties or presents, it can be easy to feel let down or disappointed.
In our Gospel lesson, there were some people who had waited a very long time for something to happen. Anna and Simeon were too people who worked in the temple. Both of them were pretty old, and they had waited their entire lives for the Messiah. They knew God had promised to send a savior who would lead and rescue the people. Simeon was a priest, and God had told Simeon that he would get to see the chosen Messiah before he died. Well, as part of Jewish customs, Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple after he was born. They had special ceremonies to do for Him. God told Simeon that the time had come for him to see Jesus, and he knew just what baby it was. Simeon was so excited to meet Jesus! He gave thanks to God for letting him witness the Messiah. He even said that he was satisfied and could die in peace, because he had laid eyes on the promised one. Another old temple worker was there, Anna. She also blessed God and gave thanks for this newborn savior. Both Simeon and Anna had waited for years and years. Do you think they felt disappointed? No! They were so joyful and thankful that they had seen Jesus. He was worth waiting for.
And that’s what we need to remember. As we finish one year and enter another, and as we say goodbye to Christmas (which, by the way, is still the season according to church calendar…), we want to recall what it is we celebrate. We are not only happy that the holidays have come, but that CHRIST has come. Jesus reminds us that God never forgets His promises. Sometimes it seems He is slow to answer our prayers or act on His word, but He always will. Jesus is the best gift of Christmas, and He will never disappoint. We don’t just celebrate His coming one day a year. We should give thanks for it every day! He was born, lived, died, and rose again for us, to give us blessings and salvation. Let’s thank God for that now, and always.
Children’s Prayer Moment
Thank you for the best Christmas gift, your son
We know that you keep your promises
And that we are never disappointed when we wait for you
Please remind us of that now and always
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Luke 2:22-40 ESV
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.” 33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. -Luke 2:22-40