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December 2011

At Long Last

For the First Sunday after Christmas

From “Sitting on the Rainbow”

Scripture Reference: Luke 2:22-35 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation”

Have any of you ever waited a very long time for something? (Let children answer.) How long did you have to wait? A week? A month? Maybe even a year? Have any of you waited your whole life for something? (Children may respond.)

Simeon was a man who lived a long time ago in Jerusalem, and he waited his whole life—eighty or ninety years—for something very special to happen. He was waiting to meet somebody very important. Do you know who that important person was? (Someone may volunteer the name.)

Simeon was waiting to meet Jesus, the Savior of the world. God had let Simeon know that before he died, he would get to see Jesus in person. Simeon waited his whole life for that moment, and finally when he was an old, old man, it happened.

When Jesus was just a baby, his parents brought him into the temple in Jerusalem. They came to thank God for sending them a special son. They came to thank God for sending them the Savior of the world. That same day that Jesus was brought to the temple, Simeon felt that God was telling him to go to the temple. Simeon knew something very special was going to happen. He was even more excited than the way we feel on Christmas morning. Even though Simeon was an old man, he may have run all the way to the temple.

And when he got there, he knew right away who that little baby was. He took that precious baby in his arms and he burst into song. Simeon, without hesitating, without planning what he was going to say, began to sing a beautiful song.

Have you ever felt like bursting into song? Sometimes you just can’t help yourself. (You may ask one who responds what they might sing when they burst into song. If you like, you can give your own impromptu song.) Mary and Joseph must have been surprised, don’t you think? A dignified old man comes up to them, asks to hold their baby, and then bursts into song.

Actually, I think that was a good thing—in fact, just the right thing—for Simeon to do. We should burst into song more often when we think about Jesus. God sent us a Savior. God sent Jesus! So if you feel like singing today, you go ahead and sing. God will be listening.

Prayer: Dear God, we praise you for filling our hearts with songs to sing. We praise you for sending Jesus to us and giving us something wonderful to sing about.

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