Reader’s Theater: Jesus Presented in the Temple (Luke 2:21-40)

Simeon in the Temple by Rembrandt

Simeon in the Temple by Rembrandt

Reader’s Theater: Jesus Presented in the Temple
Based on Luke 2:21-40 (CEB, Simeon’s words from NIV)
Three speakers:

When eight days had passed, Jesus’ parents circumcised him and gave him the name Jesus. This was the name given to him by the angel before he was conceived.

When forty days had passed, the time came for their ritual cleansing. In accordance with the Law from Moses, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. It’s written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord.” They offered a sacrifice in keeping with what’s stated in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God.

Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
You now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
Which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
A light for revelation to the Gentiles
And for glory to your people Israel.

His father and mother were amazed by what was said about him.
Simeon blessed them and said to Mary,

This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel,
And to be a sign that will be spoken against,
So that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.
And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, who belonged to the tribe of Asher. She was very old. After she married, she lived with her husband for seven years. She was now an eighty-four-year-old widow. She never left the temple area but worshiped God with fasting and prayer night and day. She approached at that very moment and began to praise God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When Mary and Joseph had completed everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to their hometown, Nazareth in Galilee. The child grew up and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

Simeon’s words from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

All other text taken or adapted from the COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE. Copyright © 2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Reader’s Theater: Jesus Presented in the Temple © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

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