Anna, a prophetess, was there at the temple. She was from the family of Phanuel in the Asher family group. Anna was very old. She had been married for seven years. Then her husband died and she lived alone. She was now 84 years old. Anna was always at the temple; she never left. She worshiped God by fasting and praying day and night. Anna was there when Joseph and Mary came to the temple. She praised God and talked about Jesus to all the people who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.
— Luke 2:36-38
Anna had lost her husband, but not her hope. She had lost the life of her dreams, but not the ability to dream. Life can be hard for most of us. Some get hit with crushing wounds early in their journey. These wounds don't have to destroy their lives. While they may carry the memory and the scars through all of their years, God can be their sufficiency and strength. This was true with Anna. Her walk with God stands up there with Elijah and Enoch. She found him sufficient for her needs and worthy of her praise. God gave her the delight of her life and an opportunity to do what the prophets had foretold—"Both your sons and daughters will prophesy!" She was privileged to declare the arrival of the Messiah to everyone in the Temple. What a long wait! What a glorious conclusion! What an awesome privilege! Come to think of it, we have the privilege of declaring Jesus, too!
Father, I do not know what life will bring me, but please give me the faith to trust that you will be there to help me find my way through it until I find the joy that awaits me in you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised, and he was named Jesus. This name was given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary. The time came for Mary and Joseph to do the things the law of Moses taught about being made pure. Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem so they could present him to the Lord (God). It is written in the law of the Lord (God): "When a mother's first baby is a boy, he shall be called 'special for the Lord.'" The law of the Lord also says that the people must give a sacrifice : "You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons." So Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to do this. A man named Simeon lived in Jerusalem. He was a good man that truly worshiped God. Simeon was waiting for the time when God would come to help Israel (the Jews). The Holy Spirit was in him. The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Christ from the Lord (God). The Spirit led Simeon to the temple. Mary and Joseph went to the temple to do what the Jewish law said they must do. They brought the baby Jesus to the temple. Simeon held the baby in his arms and thanked God: "Now, Lord (God), you can let me, your servant, die in peace like you said. I have seen with my own eyes how you will save your people. Now all people can see your plan. He (Jesus) is a light to show your way to the non-Jewish people. He will bring honor to your people, Israel (the Jews)." Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what Simeon said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, "Many Jews will fall and many will rise because of this boy. He will be a sign (proof) from God that some people will not accept. The things that people think in secret will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart very sad." Anna, a prophetess, was there at the temple. She was from the family of Phanuel in the Asher family group. Anna was very old. She had been married for seven years. Then her husband died and she lived alone. Shewas now 84 years old. Anna was always at the temple; she never left. She worshiped God by fasting and praying day and night. Anna was there when Joseph and Mary came to the temple. She praised God and talked about Jesus to all the people who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary finished doing all the things that the law of the Lord commanded. Then they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee. The little boy (Jesus) was growing. He became stronger and wiser. God's blessings were with him.
Related Scripture Readings
God is our storehouse of strength. In him, we can always find help in times of trouble. So we are not afraid when the earth quakes, and the mountains fall into the sea. We are not afraid when the seas become rough and dark, and the mountains shake. SELAH The Lord All-Powerful is with us. The God of Jacob is our place of safety.
Psalm 46:1-3, 7
But Joel the prophet wrote about the things you see happening here today. This is what Joel wrote: 'God says: In the last days, I will pour out (give) my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will have special dreams. At that time, I will pour out (give) my Spirit on my servants, men and women, and they will prophesy.
While Jesus and his followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house. Martha had a sister named Mary. Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to him teach. But her sister Martha was busy doing all the work that had to be done. Martha went in and said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and upset about too many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has made the right choice; and it will never be taken away from her."