by Joe Alain

Anna - Announcer of Redemption's Story
Joe Alain
Luke 2:21-24, 36-38

The Lord of the Temple did not make the Temple His birth place. Instead, He chose to reveal Himself through the simple manger in the village of Bethlehem, "the house of bread." However, Jesus did make an early visit to the Temple, brought there by His mother Mary and Joseph.

Jesus was brought to the Temple like every other Jewish boy, to be offered back to God as a special act of dedication. "As it is written in the Law of the Lord, 'Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord'" (Lk. 2:23). This dedication would be a time of thanksgiving to God for their son. At the Temple Jesus was like any other child being brought by excited parents, but what happened that day in the Temple was anything but ordinary.

Simeon was there that day and he saw Jesus - the Christ who he had longed to see before he died (2:25-32). Anna was there too. She was called a prophetess (2:36) because she had the special gift of interpreting and declaring God's message. Her name means "grace" and she would become a proclaimer of God's grace in Jesus Christ. Luke tells us that she was a godly widow of great age. Widows were often neglected and taken advantage of in Jesus' day. But like other oppressed and exploited people in Jesus' day, Luke holds them up as humble heroes whom the Lord exalted.

Anna is extraordinary in many respects but one fact stands out above all others; that is, she fully devoted herself to serving God through worship. Verse 37 tells us, "She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying." The loss of her husband seven years into their marriage could have made her bitter about life, but instead she devoted herself to God and determined to serve Him regardless of her circumstances.

Anna, like Simeon, waited faithfully on the Lord and did so with great expectation. She was not only a worshiper of God but she waited patiently before the Lord. She did not get in ...

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