Lesson 3: Simeon and Anna See Jesus

Leader Guide for One Room

Classroom: LCC WEB

 

Luke 2:21-40

04/25/2021

Teachers Dig In

 

Dig In to the Bible

  • Read: Luke 2:21-40
  • In This Passage: Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple to dedicate him when he was eight days old. While there, they encountered two people, Simeon and Anna, who’d been waiting for God’s promised Messiah. Immediately they recognized Jesus as this gift, the Messiah they’d been waiting for. They praised God for the wonderful gift of Jesus.
  • Bible Point: Jesus is God’s gift.
  • Summary Verse: “He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (Luke 2:32)

 

Dig Deeper

  • You’ll Be Teaching: Jesus is God’s gift. Kids know better than anyone the eager anticipation of waiting for a gift. The days before Christmas or a birthday seem to crawl by as they hope for all the things they’ve asked for. This story captures that anticipation, as Simeon and Anna have waited their whole lives for the promised gift of the Messiah. Help kids capture their excitement when God’s gift finally arrived!
  • Think About: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? What made it so great? What makes Jesus an even greater gift?

 

Dig In to Prayer

  • Make a list of the kids in your class. Write a gift you’d like God to give each child next to his or her name. Pray that your kids will experience the gifts Jesus brings.

 

Quick Tip

  • Asking kids questions to listen for before they read or hear Scripture will help them focus on understanding what they hear. They’ll feel more prepared to give answers to that question afterward.

This Lesson at a Glance

Music Video

▲Kids sing songs of praise to God.

Supplies

  • “You Are the Messiah” (Matthew 16:16) music video (watch or download here)
  • “You Gave” (John 14:19b) music video (watch or download here)
  • “God Loves Us So” music video (watch or download here)

 

Talk-About Video

▲Kids watch a video and discuss what it’s like to wait for something good.

Supplies

  • “Waiting for Cookies” teaching video (watch or download here)

 

Core Bible Discovery

Kids discuss good gifts.

Supplies

  • Bible
  • handful of candies that are the same color, such as red jelly beans
  • plastic bowl
  • “Gift Cards” handout (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Place the same-colored candies in a plastic bowl.
  • Cut apart the cards on the “Gift Cards” handout.

Object Lesson

▲Kids predict how long it will take food coloring to pass through oil.

Supplies

  • large, clear glass
  • water
  • vegetable oil
  • food coloring
  • timer or clock with a second hand

Easy Prep

  • Fill a glass about half full with water.
  • Add enough vegetable oil so about an inch of oil settles at the top.

Craft

Kids decorate a fold-and-tie gift box.

Supplies

  • “God’s Gift” handout (1 per child) (download here)
  • markers or crayons
  • curling ribbon
  • scissors
  • hole punch (1 for every 5 kids)
  • stickers (optional)

Easy Prep

  • Make a sample craft using the instructions below.

Life Application Wrap-Up

▲Kids rub their fingers on sandpaper as they talk about waiting on a good gift.

Supplies

  • 2-inch sandpaper squares (1 per child)
  • Woodsies shapes or squares (found at most craft and hobby stores) (1 per child)

 

Core Bible at Home

▲Kids discuss good gifts.

Supplies

  • Bible
  • bowl of pretzels or crackers that all look similar

 

*Marked supplies can be reused from Core Bible Discovery

Let's keep kids safe! You can help by using supplies as instructed for only ages 3+, purchasing child-safe items, and being aware of allergy concerns.

Music Video

[10 min]

 

You Are the Messiah

 

Supplies

  • “You Are the Messiah” (Matthew 16:16) music video (watch or download here)
  • “You Gave” (John 14:19b) music video (watch or download here)
  • “God Loves Us So” music video (watch or download here)

Tip 

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can download the videos before class using the “download” button at the link provided, or just purchase this quarter’s DVD here.

 

Sing Songs to God

          Sing the three songs in any order. 

Talk-About Video

[10 min]

 

Waiting for Cookies

       

 

Supplies

  • “Waiting for Cookies” teaching video (watch or download here)

Tip 

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can download the videos before class using the “download” button at the link provided, or just purchase this quarter’s DVD here.

 

Discuss and Watch "Waiting for Cookies"

         Say: In today’s Bible account, we learned that Simeon and Anna had waited a long, long, long time for Jesus. They knew that Jesus would be God’s gift to the world, and they kept waiting for Jesus. Waiting can be hard.

         Think about a time you had to wait patiently for something you really wanted. I’ll go first. Share your own story of a time you had to wait a long time for something. Keep your example to about a minute to model the type of sharing you want kids to do.

         Then say: Now it’s your turn. Find a partner, and talk about a time you had to wait a long time for something you really wanted.

          Ask: • Was it worth the wait once you got that thing? Why or why not? Allow two minutes for kids to share with their partners, and then invite a few kids to share their answers with the whole group.

         Say: Let’s watch a video about someone who has to wait a long time.

         Watch “Waiting for Cookies.”

         Ask: • Why did the girl think it was worth the wait for those cookies?

         Say: When we pray, we often ask Jesus to do something that is important to us, like heal someone, or help us with a friendship, or help us with a test.

         Ask: • What is something you have prayed about and are waiting for God to do in your own life? Share your thoughts with your partner.

         Allow about two minutes for sharing. Then invite children to silently pray for their partners for a minute, asking Jesus to help their friends as they wait for Jesus.

         Then say: When a friend prays for us, that is a gift to us. When Jesus helps us, it is a gift to us. Even greater than both of these is knowing that Jesus himself is a gift to us. It must have been hard for Simeon and Anna to wait for Jesus to come. The good news for us is that we don’t have to wait for Jesus—he’s already here with us and we can talk to him anytime we want. What a wonderful gift!         

 

 

Core Bible Discovery

[20 min]

 

Simeon and Anna See Jesus (Luke 2:21-40)

 

Supplies

  • Bible
  • handful of candies that are the same color, such as red jelly beans
  • plastic bowl
  • “Gift Cards” handout (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Place the same-colored candies in a plastic bowl.
  • Cut apart the cards on the “Gift Cards” handout.

Discuss Good Gifts

          Say: I’m glad we’re here together discovering that Jesus is God’s gift. I love to think about gifts, don’t you?

          Ask: • When is your favorite time of year to receive a gift? Call out your answer.

          • How do people know what gifts you’d like? Talk to a few people nearby.

          Give kids time to talk, and then ask a few kids to share their answers.

          Say: To give someone a great gift takes some planning. I’ll show you what I mean. Have kids form mixed-age groups of about four or five kids. Give each group a “Gift Card.” Have the oldest person in each group read the card aloud. Then have each group decide on the perfect gift to give the person described on the card. Allow a few minutes for groups to talk.

          Have each group read its card aloud and then announce the perfect gift it decided on. After each presentation, lead everyone in a quick round of applause.

          After all groups have presented, ask: • How did you decide on the perfect gift for the person on your card? Raise your hand to answer. Take a few responses.

          Say: To give a perfect gift, you have to know something about the person receiving the gift. You have to know what they’re like and just what they need. God made each one of us, and he knows exactly what we need. God knew we needed the gift of Jesus!

 

Explain the Meaning of Messiah

          Open your Bible to Luke 2:21.

          Say: In today’s Bible story, we’ll meet two people who had been waiting for the gift of Jesus all their lives. They knew that God had promised to send a Messiah. Messiah means the chosen one of God, sent to rescue his people. God’s people had been waiting for a really long time for the Messiah to come. The people lived under a ruler who oppressed them and didn’t believe in God. So they really were ready for the Messiah to come!

 

Introduce Simeon and Anna

          Say: There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. Something very cool happened to him—the Holy Spirit told him that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Messiah. Wow! What a promise! People had been waiting and waiting for so long for the Messiah to come. And Simeon was going to get to see him! It was time! Here’s how it happened.

          One day the Holy Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. And guess who just happened to be there? Mary and Joseph—and baby Jesus! But it wasn’t a coincidence. It was God’s timing!

          Well, when Simeon saw baby Jesus, he took him in his arms and praised God! He knew Jesus was the Messiah. And that’s not all! There was an old woman named Anna who lived at the Temple. She came along just as Simeon was talking to Mary and Joseph. And when she saw Jesus, she started praising God, too! She knew Jesus was the Messiah!

 

Holy Spirit Help

          Say: Let me give you some background. It was the Jewish religious law at the time that parents had to present their babies at the Temple. So there may have been lots of parents and babies at the Temple that day. Who knows how many babies might have been there?

          Think about this. Show kids the bowl of same-colored candies, and pass the bowl around for each person to see. Tell kids not to touch the candies—they can only look.

          Let’s say that most of these candies are cherry. But one of them is strawberry. Talk in your group about these questions. Ask willing kids to share their answers.

          Ask: • How would you know which was the special strawberry candy?

          • How did Simeon and Anna know Jesus was the Messiah, and not one of the other babies?

          Say: The Holy Spirit let both Simeon and Anna know that Jesus was the Messiah. And the Holy Spirit can help us know Jesus, too. Plus, we have the benefit of the Bible and other Christians who know Jesus. Jesus is God’s giftexactly the gift God knew we needed, because Jesus is the only one who can make a way for us to live in heaven. Let’s thank God.

          Close your time with a prayer, thanking God for giving us the gift of Jesus.    

Object Lesson

[10 min]

 

A Color Run

       

 

Supplies

  • large, clear glass
  • water
  • vegetable oil
  • food coloring
  • timer or clock with a second hand

Easy Prep

  • Fill a glass about half full with water.
  • Add enough vegetable oil so about an inch of oil settles at the top.

Make Predictions

          Say: God promised the gift of his Son, Jesus, but Simeon and Anna didn’t know how long it would be before God gave that gift. Let’s do something to help us think about what it was like to wait for God’s gift.

          Gather kids around the glass of water and oil. (If you have more than 10 kids, set up a couple of glasses, or gather kids around a large jar so everyone can watch. Kids should be about 3 feet away from the glass so they can see clearly.) Hold up the food coloring, and tell kids you’re going to drop some food coloring into the glass.

          Say: When the food coloring makes it into the water, it’s really neat to watch it spread out. But we’ll have to wait for it to go through the oil first.

          Ask: • How long do you think it’ll take for the food coloring to make it through the oil? Tell kids they can guess any number of seconds, minutes, or even longer. Have kids each make a prediction, and have them tell their prediction to a friend sitting nearby. Have preschoolers and older kids partner up so the older kids can help the younger kids with their predictions.

 

Drop It

          Put a drop of food coloring into the oil, and start the timer.

          Have kids count aloud with the timer as they watch and wait.

          When the food coloring breaks through the oil, it will be obvious because it spreads into the water with streaks of color. Stop the timer as soon as it breaks through the oil, and allow time for kids to watch the color spread out.

          Share the actual time, and then ask: • How close was your guess?

 

Discuss

          Ask: • What was it like to wait in this experiment?

          • What were you thinking when the food coloring spread into the water?

          Say: Maybe your guess was really close—or maybe it was really off. Maybe it felt like the drop would never reach the water.

          Ask: • How does that remind you of Simeon and Anna waiting for God’s gift?

          Say: Anna and Simeon knew a savior was coming; so when Jesus arrived and their waiting was over, they knew Jesus was a gift. Jesus is God’s gift to all of us.

          Have kids gather in small groups with a few kids who are nearby. Mix older children with younger ones so the older children can share their experience with the younger ones.

          Ask: • Tell about something that was worth waiting for.

          After a few minutes, take a few responses.

          Say: We don’t have to wait for God’s gift. Jesus already came, and he’s our gift that we can enjoy and celebrate today! 

 

Craft

[20 min]

 

Thank-You Gift Box

 

Supplies

  • “God’s Gift” handout (1 per child) (download here)
  • markers or crayons
  • curling ribbon
  • scissors
  • hole punch (1 for every 5 kids)
  • stickers (optional)

Easy Prep

  • Make a sample craft using the instructions below.

Talk About Gifts

            Say: Jesus is God’s gift. In the Bible, God’s people were waiting for a Savior who would lead them. But Jesus wasn’t just a gift to them way back then. Jesus is God’s gift to us today!

            Ask: • What do you do when someone gives you a gift?

            • How can you thank God for giving his Son, Jesus?

            Say: We can thank God through worship, through prayer, or even by showing his awesome love to others.

            Hold up your sample craft. Say: Let’s make a cool craft that will give you a chance to thank God for Jesus—the best gift of all.

 

Cut and Decorate

            Give each person a “God’s Gift” handout, and direct kids to cut out the shape on the solid lines. Help younger kids with cutting. Kids can use a hole punch to make holes on the circles. Explain that the side with the dotted lines will be the inside of the box.

            Have kids each write a note on the inside, thanking God for Jesus. Ask kids to be as specific as possible, thanking God for ways Jesus has encouraged them, forgiven them, or made them feel God’s love.

            Have kids turn the shape over and use markers or crayons to decorate the other side of the shape. Optionally, kids can also use stickers.

 

Fold and Tie

            Show kids how to fold on the dotted lines so the thank-you note is on the inside of the box. Then let kids slip curling ribbon through the holes and tie it to pull the points of the box together. Kids can use scissors to curl the curling ribbon. Older kids will need to help younger kids.

            Tell kids that they can keep their gift boxes where they’ll see them every day as a reminder of the amazing gift God gave through Jesus.

           

Life Application Wrap-Up

[5 min]

 

Waiting for the Gift

       

 

Supplies

  • 2-inch sandpaper squares (1 per child)
  • Woodsies shapes or squares (found at most craft and hobby stores) (1 per child)

Rub the Sandpaper

            Give each child a sandpaper square to hold in one hand. Have them each rub one finger on it for about 30 seconds and talk about how it feels.

            Ask: • What would happen if you rubbed one finger on this sandpaper for an hour?

            • What are some ways that waiting for something for a long, long time feels bad or hurts?

            Say: Today we learned about Simeon and Anna, who had to wait a long, long time for God’s gift, Jesus. Maybe they felt [say some of the words kids shared about what it’s like to wait for a long time], but when they saw Jesus, it was worth it! They knew that Jesus is God’s gift.

 

Smooth Rough Surfaces

          Say: Simeon and Anna were thankful when they saw Jesus. They knew that Jesus was there to save them—so they could be forgiven for all the wrong things they’d ever do. Jesus is God’s gift for us, too. Let’s see why that’s important.

          Give each child a Woodsie shape.

          Ask: • Why do people use sandpaper?

          Say: Sandpaper is good for smoothing out rough surfaces—it gets rid of the stuff you don’t want there. Like that, Jesus wants to smooth out our rough spots. Let’s smooth out these shapes as we silently pray.

          Pair up any preschoolers with older children, and then lead kids in rubbing the sandpaper over the edges of the wood shapes as they silently thank Jesus for forgiving their wrongs or for helping them through “rough spots” in life. After a minute of silent prayer, close the prayer.

          Pray: God, thank you for Jesus! We’re thankful he came to save us and to be our friend. He’s the best gift ever. In Jesus’ name, amen.

          Thank the children for coming, and let them take home the wood shapes as a reminder that Jesus is God’s gift.

 

Core Bible at Home

[20 min]

 

Simeon and Anna See Jesus (Luke 2:21-40)

 

Supplies

  • Bible
  • bowl of pretzels or crackers that all look similar

Tips

  • This Bible Experience is specifically designed for video calls, pre-recorded videos, or parent-led lessons for a wide age-range of kids.
  • If you’re leading this as a video, tell families to pause when you ask questions so they can discuss them. Tell families as you start the video what supplies they’ll need so they can gather them before they begin.
  • For additional activities that adapt easily to an at-home setting, click “view” to preview the content of each activity block and choose only those that include a ▲ symbol in the highlighted summary description:
    • Opening
    • Music Video
    • Talk-About Video
    • Object Lesson
    • High-Energy Game
    • Low-Energy Game (families can drop cotton balls, Q-tips, or any lightweight object they have)
    • Life Application Wrap-Up
    • Take-Home page (for families to do at home)

 

Discuss Good Gifts

          Say: I’m glad we’re here together discovering that Jesus is God’s gift. I love to think about gifts, don’t you?

          Ask: • When is your favorite time of year to receive a gift?

          • How do people know what gifts you’d like?

          Say: To give someone a great gift takes some planning. I’ll show you what I mean. Let’s do brainstorm some gifts for some new friends!

            Say: Ella is 7 years old. She wears a size 6 in clothing. She loves horses and playing with her dolls. Her favorite color is green.

            Ask: • What might be some good gift ideas for Ella?

            Say: Zach is 10. He loves to draw and make up colorful designs. He also likes the outdoors and animals.

            Ask: • What might be some good gift ideas for Zach?

          Ask: • How did you decide on the perfect gift for each person? What was your thought process?

          Say: To give a perfect gift, you have to know something about the person receiving the gift. You have to know what they’re like and just what they need. God made each one of us, and he knows exactly what we need. God knew we needed the gift of Jesus!

 

Explain the Meaning of Messiah

          Open your Bible to Luke 2:21.

          Say: In today’s Bible story, we’ll meet two people who had been waiting for the gift of Jesus all their lives. They knew that God had promised to send a Messiah. Messiah means the chosen one of God, sent to rescue his people. God’s people had been waiting for a really long time for the Messiah to come. The people lived under a ruler who oppressed them and didn’t believe in God. So they really were ready for the Messiah to come!

 

Introduce Simeon and Anna

          Say: There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. Something very cool happened to him—the Holy Spirit told him that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Messiah. Wow! What a promise! People had been waiting and waiting for so long for the Messiah to come. And Simeon was going to get to see him! It was time! Here’s how it happened.

          One day the Holy Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. And guess who just happened to be there? Mary and Joseph—and baby Jesus! But it wasn’t a coincidence. It was God’s timing!

          Well, when Simeon saw baby Jesus, he took him in his arms and praised God! He knew Jesus was the Messiah. And that’s not all! There was an old woman named Anna who lived at the Temple. She came along just as Simeon was talking to Mary and Joseph. And when she saw Jesus, she started praising God, too! She knew Jesus was the Messiah!

 

Holy Spirit Help

          Say: Let me give you some background. It was the Jewish religious law at the time that parents had to present their babies at the Temple. So there may have been lots of parents and babies at the Temple that day. Who knows how many babies might have been there?

          Think about this. Get out your bowl of snacks. Everyone take one, but don’t eat it. Pause.

            Say: Now put your snack item back in the bowl. One person can mix the snacks all up. Pause.

          Ask: • How would you know which snack item was the exact one you were just holding?

          • How did Simeon and Anna know Jesus was the Messiah, and not one of the other babies?

          Say: The Holy Spirit let both Simeon and Anna know that Jesus was the Messiah. And the Holy Spirit can help us know Jesus, too. Plus, we have the benefit of the Bible and other Christians who know Jesus. Jesus is God’s giftexactly the gift God knew we needed, because Jesus is the only one who can make a way for us to live in heaven. Let’s thank God.

          Close your time with a prayer, thanking God for giving us the gift of Jesus.    

The Life of Jesus, Lesson 3: Simeon and Anna See Jesus, Design and base content Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Licensed for use with 1-20 students. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use only.

 

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409 Yorktown Road

 

Newport News (Lee Hall), VA 23603

 

Phone: 757 887-5536

 

  

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