Scripture: Luke 2:25-35
Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Spend some time in worship.

Observation
Simeon may have heard the rumours about the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist had been born some months earlier and his story was well known. It is possible that the shepherds may have kept the temple flocks and they may have told others who worked in and around the temple.

But Simeon did not act on rumours alone. The Holy Spirit led him to the temple on the day Mary and Joseph took Jesus there. He had heard God’s promise to him and was alert to the Spirit’s prompting to go at that time on that day. Simeon was an old man who had no connection with Mary, Joseph or Jesus from a social point of view, yet he took the Baby in his arms filled with love for Him. Simeon acknowledges that this moment fulfilled God’s promise to him that he should see the Messiah and he knew that the moment he had been destined to witness had come. Now Simeon could die in peace for God’s promise was fulfilled.

He prophesied over the Baby saying that He would be a light for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Salvation began with the Jewish nation but spread wide to include others beyond Israel too.

Mary and Joseph were amazed. They were filled with joy that God had given others the understanding of who Jesus is. Simeon said some would accept Jesus but many others would reject Him and speak against Him. He would be a target for evil. It was important for Mary to know that there were hard times ahead for her and for Jesus. Her task as the Lord’s mother was both a privilege and a burden. His rejection was hers, but His vindication was also hers.

Icebreaker: What big thing makes you truly grateful? And what little thing makes you truly grateful? Why?

Application

  • What are you waiting for? How long have you been waiting? Have you asked God about the issue? Have you heard His reply? How does that reply make you feel? How do you feel if you have not heard His response?
  • Are you grateful anyway? Why/why not?
  • Simeon’s faith had deep roots in God. He had lived a life of devotion; he listened as well as talked when he prayed; he worshipped regularly; he spent time in Scripture. How does this compare with your own faith? What one thing do you think you could do in the coming days to increase the depth of your faith?
  • What has it cost you to follow God? Have you had to face opposition, ridicule, rejection, oppression? What happened? How did you deal with any such situation? How has it affected your relationship with Jesus?
  • Have you ever felt/heard/experienced the prompting of the Holy Spirit? How did you know it was Him? What did He prompt you to do? Did you follow His lead or turn away from it? What happened? How would you respond today if you were aware of His prompting to do something at this moment?
  • How did you feel when you followed/did not follow His lead?
  • How do you feel about your colleagues, friends, family, team who do not know Jesus as their Saviour? How often do you pray for them? How do you witness Jesus’ love to them? How do you offer them hope in these dark times? What does the way you live your life say about the joy of serving and following Jesus?
  • ‘Gracepoint is a church for others’. What is your response to that statement? How can you offer love and grace to those around you as a member of Gracepoint? How can you impact your world for Jesus?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Prayer
In a moment of silence sit in an attitude of prayer with your hands cupped to receive and pray for the infilling and inspiration of the Holy Spirit for yourself and the other members of the group. Pray that God may be glorified as His Kingdom grows as a result of the Spirit’s role in your lives. Pray that the leadership of Gracepoint may receive God’s wisdom as they make decisions regarding the way forward for the church.
Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

Service
Make a conscious effort this week to be an instrument of God’s grace and love to those with whom you come into contact. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as to how you do this, that you may be an effective witness for God’s Kingdom as it grows around you.

Bibliography

Luke Chapter 2

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