Anna's Christmas Party
Lord, I thank You for a mind that can think, a heart that can feel, and hands that can do.
Read LUKE 2:36-40
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Think of the role women played around the birth, life and death of Jesus. Astounding. Add to that the role they played in the expansion of the early church.
Yesterday, we spoke of Simeon’s wonderful Christmas treat–Jesus the Messiah has come! Today, it is the turn of Anna. Anna was a prophetess. She was 84. Considering that life expectancy for a woman at the time was in the mid-30s, she was old indeed. She had been briefly married in her youth and had lived many years as a widow. Without male support in a patriarchal world, she had had a tough life. Yet, despite her struggle, like Elizabeth earlier, she was an astonishing woman of faith. She spent her time praying and fasting in the Temple, no doubt in the Court of Women. Out of her deep relationship with God, she spoke prophetically, bringing God’s word. Her example of devotion is extraordinary. She anticipates the many like her in the history of the church who devote themselves to intercession for the Church and the world. We should value these intercessors whose prayers uphold the church.
On this day of Jesus’ circumcision, naming and welcome into the covenant people, Anna is moved by God to approach the baby. In obedience, she does so. She gives thanks to God for Jesus. She prophesies over him. She rejoices, for Messiah had come! Men and women prophesying over Jesus shows that the vision of Joel that men and women will prophesy is already being fulfilled as heaven meets earth (Joel 2:28-29). This anticipates the glorious day of Pentecost, when the Spirit would fall and the Church would rise up and declare God’s Word (Acts 8:17; 10:44-46; 19:6).
As we recline after another Christmas, it is good to allow ourselves to be inspired by Anna’s example and come to Jesus daily in intercession for the world. Our prayers rise like incense to God and the world is reshaped (Rev. 8:4). As we do, we will be guided by our Messiah, and the world will be transformed.
Pray for widows who mourn. Join Anna in prayer and fasting, not at a physical temple but in the presence of Jesus. Don’t be afraid to share God’s Word.
Father, I honor Anna, who worked through her tragic loss and gave her life to an unseen but powerful ministry. I ask for her patience and devotion to prayer.