by Jim Henry

When Hope Comes True at Christmas
Jim Henry
Luke 2:36-40
December 22, 1996

Somebody said that Christmas was for the little people. That makes some of us feel especially good.. When we look at Christmas and the birth of Jesus, we realize the Roman generals didn't know anything about it. The Roman Caesar didn't know anything about it, the Jewish high priest didn't know anything about it. The Greek philosophers didn't know anything about it. So it seems like it was the little people that seemed to get the message of Christmas, and when you look at those little people you realize that there is even a smaller group that caught it's full significance. When you look at that you realize that 12 verses are given to the wise men in their journey in Matthew. Then you get 12 verses for the shepherds who were considered the lowest circle in the economic realm and their impact on society. When you get to Simeon you find him with 11 verses and when you come to Zechariah and John the Baptist you find nearly 2/3 of the 1st chapter of Luke. And then you arrive at three verses and one little lady. Her name was Anna. When you see the name Anna, in this just little three verses of all the Christmas story that is given to her, you see a woman who grabbed the full significance of the birth of Jesus Christ and it was all wrapped up in hope. 1

I'm sure some of you have the name Anna. Anna means grace or favor. It's a beautiful name. Luke 2 Verse 36-39 narrates the story.

"There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old. She had lived with her husband 7 years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was 84. (And some translations say that she was a widow 84 years. Whatever, she was a very old lady.) She never left the temple, but she 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 t ...

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