Christmas is definitely finished now so hopefully you have sent all of your thank-you messages and eaten all of your Christmas chocolate! Candlemas was on Tuesday and usually we would have the chance to go to Ripon Cathedral to see the pictures made by setting out hundreds and hundreds of candles and tea-lights. There are some examples from previous years here. If you were asked to design one for this year, what would you put on it? Has anything from one of our stories meant a lot to you? Try drawing it using only dots as if you were making the pattern using candles.
Rev. Mary talks about the story of Simeon and Anna in the Temple for this week’s Collective Worship. Listen to her tell the story or read it for yourself in your Bible.
You will need Luke 2.22-40
The story is about two people who spent time in the Temple. They had studied the Jewish scripture and were both aware of God talking to them about the Messiah. They were waiting for the prophecies to come true. We don’t know how long they had been waiting or whether they were expecting the Messiah to be a tiny baby but it might have been many years and it is unlikely that they would expect the Messiah to be part of a poor family. We are told that Simeon was righteous and devout and that Anna spent all of her time in the Temple.
We can only imagine what their lives would have been like on normal days and how that changed on the day of Jesus’ presentation. Choose either Simeon or Anna and read that part of the story again. Imagine what a normal day would have been like – draw a picture or write a diary entry for this day. Then imagine the day they discovered Jesus and his parents in the Temple – draw or write again to show how this day might have been different.
What do we have to wait for? Maybe we have to wait in queues, on a long journey, or for our turn in a game. How patient are we while we wait? What do we do to spend the time? There are some games here that might help with waiting.
Waiting is a part of life. What we do while we wait is up to us. We can decide we are bored with waiting and give up (and possibly annoy ourselves and other people) or we can use the time in other ways.
Simeon and Anna had been told by God that a Messiah was coming. They waited for this to happen but got on with living as God wanted them to while they waited. Jesus told us that he would come again but that we wouldn’t know when that would be. We try to live as he wants us to while we wait.
Simeon and Anna were older people. Do you have older people in your family? Are you able to keep in touch with them at the moment? Try to have a conversation with them this week or to send a card or letter. Can you find out something about their life that you didn’t know before? Is there something special that you have done with them that you could chat about? Or could you plan something special with them for when we can meet up again?
An idea for prayer this week:
Lord, we thank you for the older people that we know and love. Help us to value their experience of life and the things they do that inspire us to be the best we can be.
Have you noticed that the days are getting longer? Signs of Spring are starting to appear again.
Alison and Angie