31 December 2023
Bible readings for today
1st Sunday of Christmas
Liturgical Colour: WHITE
Holy and eternal God, your Son Jesus Christ has taught us to learn from the simple trust of children; give us pure hearts and steadfast faith to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
E te Atua tapu, e te Atua ora tonu,
nā tāu Tama nā Īhu Karaiti mātou i ako
kia rite tō mātou whakapono ki tā te tamariki;
hōmai he ngākau mā, kia pūmau ai te whakapono
kia whakamoemiti ki a koe i roto i te wairua me te pono;
ko Īhu Karaiti tō mātou Ariki.
Jesus Presented in the Temple (Luke 2:22-40)
When Joseph and Mary took their infant Jesus to the temple to dedicate Him to God, they met Simeon and Anna—two senior adults who knew who Jesus really was. They rejoiced in seeing Jesus and in what He would accomplish in and for God’s kingdom.
Simeon and Anna
Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple because God commanded his people to do that. They were being obedient and faithful to God. They weren't expecting anything amazing to happen. But something amazing did happen.
There was a man named Simeon who was living in Jerusalem, where the temple was. Sometimes he went to the temple and sometimes he didn't, but on the day that baby Jesus was going to be there, God told Simeon to go to the temple. God didn't say why, but Simeon obeyed! You see, many years earlier, the Holy Spirit had come to Simeon and told him that before he died, he was going to see the Saviour, the Messiah-- in other words, Jesus, but Simeon didn't know his name! Simeon believed what God had said. He had faith. Do you know what faith is? (allow answers). Well faith is believing in something you can't see.
Simeon believed that the Saviour was coming in his lifetime because God told him that, but he hadn't see the Saviour with his own eyes. THAT was about to change. Simeon went to the temple and when he saw Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus, he went right up to them and asked to hold the baby. He said, 'Now I've seen my saviour. Now whatever happens to me is ok." Then he turned to Mary and Joseph and told them how special their baby was, how he was going to be a bright light in the world and save people. Then Simeon blessed Mary and Joseph-- and Mary and Joseph were amazed! God had kept his promise to Simeon!
Nearby there was someone else who was going to know who Jesus was. Anna. Anna was 84 years old. She'd been serving God and praying in the temple for many years. Maybe she heard Simeon praising God, or maybe God just led her to where Mary and Joseph and Jesus were, but Anna also was so excited about seeing Jesus. Imagine spending years and years and years serving and loving God and then suddenly seeing the baby that was going to grow up and free people from their sins. Not only did she praise God, but she started talking about Jesus to everyone who wanted to be free!
Anna and Simeon both recognized that Jesus was a king, and Mary and Joseph understood even more just how important their baby was!
Simeon and Anna Puzzle (Sunday School Zone)
Secret Code Activity (Sunday School Zone)
Wordsearch (Sunday School Zone)
Wordsearch (Bible Explore)
Puppets (Sunday school zone)
Colouring in (Higher Praise)
Story and questions(Ministry to Children)
We hereby give you permission (not that you need it, however) to not run anything on the 27th of December! Go and eat ice-cream, look at the Pohutakawa trees and see God in creation and nature.
School Holiday Packs (Salvation Army)