Hugs and love and kudos and all that good stuff to my amazing mom who gave me a ton of great notes, since I ended up scrambling for time to get this ready. ;)
Today we're gonna talk about Anna. (Don't know who this amazing lady is or her connection to Christmas? Go read Luke 2:21-38, especially those last three verses, and then come back. xD)
Anna. What do we really know about this woman?
Perhaps I know what you're thinking right now because, at a time, I thought the same thing. C'mon, seriously? She's only mentioned once in the Bible, resulting in only three verses. How much can we know?
Enough, my friends. Enough that we should want to be like her in many aspects of our daily lives.
Let's dig into her history a bit and see what we know about Anna. Her name means 'favor of grace' or 'beautiful.' It's also the Latin version of Hannah. She was of the tribe of Asher. She was a prophetess and an elderly Jewish widow. (Did y'all catch that? Yeah, she was old. The Bible says she was of a great age, and she obviously was. A widow of eighty-four years? Even if she married when she was ten, she wasn't young by this time!)
Hmm...she still doesn't sound that special, does she? Let's see what the Bible has to say about her.
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
~ Luke 2:36-38 KJV ~
Yep, that's it. Three little verses stuck between the shepherds and the Passover. I think we've covered everything in the first verse, so let's move on to the second.
She departed not from the temple... Y'all, let's just stop and think about that. She didn't come to the temple once a week. She didn't come daily. She didn't come twice a day. She lived there. She never left. God's house was her dwelling place. Night and day, she fasted, she prayed, and she never left.
She dwelled in His presence, day in and day out. How amazing is that?! Her life was spent anticipating the coming of the Promised Messiah.
And you know what else? Her patient waiting paid off. That day that probably began so ordinary quickly changed. I believe that she, like Simeon, knew who Jesus was right away. She didn't doubt, didn't view Mary and Joseph as just another set of parents with just another newborn baby. And she wasn't surprised by His arrival.
She just believed and accepted Him. How often do we accept His will that easily? I don't think I would be wrong to say it's rare. Very rare.
In that very instant that she laid eyes on her Savior, Anna knew. She believed. She accepted. And she praised Him.
But it didn't end there, the ending of the last verse from this passage tells us that she spread the news of Jesus to "all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalam." She didn't hide the joy away for herself, but she shared it with the world.
It also specifies that she shared it with those in Jerusalem. That could mean those that came to the temple, sure, but I can't help wondering if it means something else. After her days of waiting were over, did Anna depart from the temple? Going forth to share this good news with anyone who was seeking redemption? I don't know that she did, but we also don't know that she didn't. It's something to think about, for sure.
May we all await Christ's second coming in the same way Anna awaited His first, readily and faithfully. And while we wait...let's spread the Word of the Greatest Gift this world ever has and ever will receive. <3
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
~ Hebrews 9:28 KJV ~
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