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December 22, 2020 Advent Reflection

Luke 2: 36 - 38

36–37 A prophetess named Anna was also in the temple court that day. She was from the Jewish tribe of Asher and the daughter of Phanuel. Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died she chose to worship God in the temple continually. For the past eighty-four years she had been serving God with night-and-day prayer and fasting.

38 While Simeon was prophesying over Mary and Joseph and the baby, Anna walked up to them and burst forth with a great chorus of praise to God for the child. And from that day forward she told everyone in Jerusalem who was waiting for their redemption that the anticipated Messiah had come! (TPT)

Hope can rise up from the most unlikely places!

Anna became a widow early on in her life. In bible times, young widows had a few options available to them. Some widows inherited their dowry back when their husband died, and some received an inheritance from their husband’s estate. Young widows also had the opportunity to remarry after their husband’s death.

We don’t know much about Anna, except that she choose to either live in the temple, or close to the the temple court so that she could worship God continually. Anna didn’t just take a few year off to grieve her husband’s death and she didn’t remarry. She choose to worship God in the temple continually. She loved being in the presence of God soo much, she stayed there for 84 years in prayer and fasting. God was so delighted to spend time with Anna and He was thrilled to introduce her to His Son, Jesus!

Anna exclaims the joy of the Lord when she bursts forth with a great chorus of praise to God as she meets the Christ child. Her reaction of joy when meeting Jesus is expected, but her response is not. For 84 years, Anna served God in the temple continually. After coming face to face with Jesus, Anna told everyone in Jerusalem that the anticipated Messiah had come. Like the shepherds, she has become an evangelist. She is not forcing herself to go out and tell others about this good news. Anna is sharing the good news because the joy and fullness of God in her is overflowing.

Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Anna can’t help but tell everyone in Jerusalem that the anticipated Messiah has come. She took her refuge in God, and spent time in the goodness of God. The desire to go into all of Jerusalem declaring that the coming of the Messiah came out of her focused time together with God.

Take time to taste and see the goodness of God. Now that some of the Christmas activities are being scaled back, now that we have extra snow days, take advantage of this time to spend in the presence of God. As you encounter God’s love, let His goodness overflow into those around you so that this Christmas season everyone will know that the anticipated Messiah has come!

Shared by Wendy Stirbet


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