The Christmas Story: Anna
“… She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerasulem.”1
Anna is probably one of the most overlooked people in the Christmas story. Only three verses are dedicated to her, but when we really take a close look at who she was, we realize that her passion for Jesus left us a beautiful legacy.
When the time came, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to be presented to the Lord in the temple. In addition to Simeon, who we read about yesterday, there was also a prophet named Anna who met them at the temple. Female prophets were quite rare in those times, but God used her to speak insight from His heart. She was also widowed only seven years after being married, and now at the age of eighty-four continued serving faithfully in the temple. Widows were often seen as the poorest, most destitute of their culture, but God held Anna in high esteem.
Let’s look at a few key points about Anna.
She was from the tribe of Asher, which was considered a “lost” tribe because they had been dispersed. But regardless of where she came from, she mattered and was important to God. He will use anyone who is willing, and Anna was that and more.
Her age was another factor that many would have the tendency to say is “too old” to do great things for God, but God doesn’t look at age, but rather the condition of our heart.
Although Scripture doesn’t clearly say, we can assume that she never had children based on the fact that she had only been married seven years and was now living in the temple. If she would have had children, they would have most likely been providing for her needs.
Anna could have easily focused on her sorrow and thoughts of loneliness, but instead she chose to put her energy into service for the rest of her life. Serving God and serving others is obviously the secret to a youthful heart! I can only imagine the joy she felt the moment she saw Jesus coming into the temple. Perhaps it was her close relationship with God that allowed her to recognize at that moment that the Redeemer had come! I am sure that her pain, sorrow, and loss paled in comparison to the overwhelming sense of joy at seeing the Savior with her own eyes. Only three verses about Anna, but such a beautiful legacy of faithfulness and a heart of service and worship to the Lord.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, society may look at the outward appearance when it comes to our worth, but you look at the heart. In your eyes, we are worthy and able to be an example to others just like Anna. Help me keep my eyes on you, even in the midst of pain, that I may choose to praise you and experience the great blessing of a close relationship with You. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Luke 2:37-38 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.