We transition in worship this week from Christmas Day and the Magi to New Year’s Day and Simeon and Anna. This is the final week of our worship series which was intended to help us all prepare for the mystery of Christmas by learning more about the characters from the story and wondering about how we might be shaped by trying on their roles in our own lives. This last week brings us to Simeon and Anna and the story of Jesus being brought to the Temple for his dedication to the Lord. Read Luke 2.22-40.
A Curtain Call occurs at the end of a performance, when the cast or performers come forward to take a final bow. Often they also recognize the orchestra, the director and others who have worked on the show. Luke’s Gospel tells us that Simeon and Anna are characters who have lived long and faithful lives and are enjoying their Curtain Call for they are devoted to God and are nearing the end of their days. “These two aged saints are Israel in miniature, and Israel at its best: devout, obedient, constant in prayer, led by the Holy Spirit , at home in the temple, longing and hoping for the fulfillment of God’s promises.” (from the Interpretation Bible Commentary volume of Luke by Fred Craddock, p. 40) Consider what you know about the story of The Table at Central UMC. New life has risen out of a time when some folks were considering whether they might be at the end of a long church history. What can we learn from the story of Simeon and Anna that might help us grow into the new future of our community? How might your story of being part of a “new/old church” be reflected in the story of Simeon and Anna? For what do you celebrate and applaud and what do you grieve and think you might miss in the coming “New Performances” that God will cast in the future of our faith community?