Today was much like yesterday. Debbie was on call and I worked handwriting a note in each of our New Year’s Newsletters. I am just about to finish up, on the last 60 or so out of about 400. I am thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness through people. While we sent a follow up thank you note to those who donated to my medical relief fund, this year I was able to put a newsletter together and to respond with an update to those who responded with their concern and support during my time of crisis.
Yesterday I wrote from Luke 2 about Simeon. Today about Anna. My friend Wayne Newcomb had this picture, on his Facebook page, of Simeon meeting Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus in the Temple and I wanted to share it today.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Anna, a prophetess…was a widow of about eighty-four years,who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem….” Luke 2:36.38
As Jesus is being blessed and prophesied over by Simeon, we find another individual divinely chosen to bear witness of the Christ. This is a woman, Anna, a prophetess, who had been married just seven years when her husband had died and been a widow since that time. Now at 84 living beyond the life expectancy of the day, she saw the manifestation of her devotion, prayers and fasting.
As she joined this divine huddle, she gave thanks to the Lord and “spoke of Him to those who looked for the redemption in Jerusalem.” While we don’t know her words, we know of her actions. She expressed thanks to God, but in turn shared with others what had been revealed to her about this baby. Undoubtedly there were those who dismissed the words of the elderly prophetess. But perhaps there were those who took them to heart. Perhaps there were those who thirty years later recalled this event as Jesus began His ministry.
What I find of interest is the multiple witnesses of the birth of Christ. Shepherds, wise men, Simeon and Anna. It seemed that the words of Simeon were confirmed by the presence and witness of the prophetesses Anna. All of this in accordance with the words of the law. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (Deu. 19:15)
As we view these few verses about Anna, we can observed the devotion and dedication of her life. As a widow she was fully committed to the spiritual ministry of prayer, fasting and speaking forth God’s Word. Her commitment was honored by the Lord who revealed to her the presence of Christ in the Temple on this historic day.
Like Anna of old, we should be encouraged in our steadfast devotion to the Lord while we wait for the second coming of Christ. Our timing is not the Lord’s. At Jesus ascension the question everyone’s mind was “when?” Jesus words were, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.“ (Acts 1:7) We are called to commit ourselves to prayer, fasting, service, trusting the Lord knowing that He hears and honors our prayers.