Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Candlemas - Let your light shine

This Sunday in Church we’ll be celebrating a special occasion. It is called Candlemas, so it’s obviously got  some candles in it. But it also has a baby in it too.

·         Show a picture of a baby
I wonder what this baby will grow up to be?

We can’t tell.

We might not know what job he or she will do, but what do we hope his or her life will be like?

(ask children for their ideas)
Happy? Successful? Loved? helping others? etc…

He or she will be special – there will be no one like him or her. Everyone is special in their own way.

Tell story of presentation of Christ in the Temple

This story is about two very old people, called Simeon and Anna. They spent all their time in the Temple in Jerusalem, the place where everyone gathered to pray. But they didn’t just come once a week or once a month, they were there every day. Anna even slept in the Temple. They were waiting. Waiting and waiting. What were they waiting for? They were waiting for God to come and help their people.

They looked around them and saw that people were unhappy. Roman soldiers had marched into their land and they had to do what the soldiers told them to. Often the soldiers were cruel.
Simeon and Anna saw that people often made each other unhappy too. They treated each other badly, as if they didn’t matter, especially people who were ill, or poor. It wasn’t right, and Simeon and Anna did what they could to help people, but they knew that they couldn’t do it on their own. They needed God’s help. People believed that God would send a special helper – they called him the Messiah – but when would he come, and what would he look like.

All day, every day, Simeon and Anna watched and prayed. They looked at all the people who came to the Temple, but none of them was the one.

Then one day, a little family – a man and a woman carrying a baby – came into the Temple. The baby was about six weeks old. It was baby Jesus, with Joseph and Mary. They had come to the Temple to say thank you to God for Jesus. All families did that. And when they came they brought something to offer – two pigeons. Here’s a picture of them. You can see Joseph carrying the pigeons. They felt very small – the Temple was HUGE, and it was crowded. No one would notice them. But someone did. Simeon and Anna. Something told them that this little baby was the one they had been waiting for.  They pushed through the crowds towards them.

Simeon took the baby in his arms and said. “This is the one I have been waiting for. Now I can die happy, because I have seen that God is coming to help our people, and people all over the world. He will be like a bright light shining for everyone.” Anna told everyone around that this child would be very special when he grew up, someone would help them to live right.

Mary and Joseph didn’t know what to make of it at all, but they remembered Simeon and Anna and what they had said as Jesus grew up, and thought about it.

That’s the story, and it doesn’t just remind us about Jesus being special. It reminds us that we are all special. Jesus said that each of us is like a light that can light up the world, so we’ve got to remember to shine!

We say that to every person who is baptised or christened in Church. We give them a special candle to take home to remember that. Here is baby Seth with his mum and dad and his candle.

Silence to think about that some way in which you could "let your light shine" today - something you could do to help someone.

Sing : “This little light of mine.”

Play the Song of Simeon to go out.