Last Sunday we learned about two people who recognized the light in Jesus the first time they saw him, even though he was a babe. The story of Simeon and Anna is found in Luke 2:22-38. I’ll let you read the story rather than retell it here. When I presented it to the children I told the story first in my own words, and then a second time directly from the scriptures. This worked out well because we had a couple of children come in late.
We had a lengthy discussion time over this story. I think it was relatively unfamiliar to them. All the children were in agreement that Simeon and Anna were very close to the Lord and filled with the Holy Spirit; that is how they were able to recognize the significance of Jesus. One girl said that Simeon was an “unselfish person” who was concerned about other people because Simeon joyfully proclaimed that Jesus was for “all people,” not just for himself or his relatives. One boy thought Simeon was kind to share his knowledge that Jesus was the hope of the world so Mary and Joseph could be encouraged, so they could be very good parents. A girl echoed this thought saying that it is always good to hear other people’s “testimonies of Jesus.”
There were a few unexpected connections to this story too. One girl said the turtle doves made her think about Jesus throwing the merchants and the moneychangers out of the temple when he grew up. A boy commented that he knew a Christmas song that contained two turtle doves. Yes.
This was also the first time I added arms to the figures. The children noticed this immediately. I told them that Mary and then Simeon holding Jesus seemed so important to the story that I had to figure out a way to make arms. :-) I used light brown pipe cleaners twisted around the clothespin.
An interesting thing occurred near the end of our reflection time. Instead of talking directly to me with their answers they started talking to each other. At first I felt uncomfortable, that things would get out of hand, but then I realized that meaningful conversation is what we need to encourage. When we share together it should be for the benefit of everyone and there should be some way for them to comment on each other’s ideas. I need to think about this more carefully.