Happy New Year! Praying for great blessings upon your home as we begin another year.
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.
Luke 2:33 – NIV
Tucked discreetly into the closing scenes of Luke 2, we find a minor character with a major message. The prophet Anna steps onto the stage with only a few lines, but the portent of her words is powerful.
Mary and Joseph had brought Jesus to Jerusalem for the rites of purification. As they entered the temple, they are set upon by Simeon who proclaims Jesus as the long awaited Messiah.
Imagine Mary and Joseph’s shocked faces as Simeon goes on to prophesy about how Jesus will save the world. No doubt, Mary and Joseph must have been overwhelmed. Surely, they both experienced a flashback to the angel’s messages about the birth of their beautiful child.
I imagine that Simeon’s words must have held a note of consolation for these new parents. After all, Mary and Joseph had been obedient, accepting the angel’s messages on faith, and fulfilling the decrees concerning the care of the child.
Still, I wonder. Had Mary and Joseph endured some moments of doubt? Was there ever a moment when Joseph wondered if he had just had a vivid dream instead of a divine visit? Did Mary look back on the appearance of the angel and think, “Did that really happen?” After all, those two were mere humans, just like us, subject to the same doubts, fears, and worries that you and I must face.
If there were ever any moments of doubt, they flew out the window on that morning in the temple. Mary and Joseph stood there soaking in Simeon’s words of prophecy. Those angelic forecasts were being confirmed by a real live prophet. Their hearts must have leapt for joy at those spoken words, their minds racing to receive this new revelation.
Now to the stage, enters Anna. Just in case the novice parents did not get the full disclosure from Simeon, Anna shows up to add her prophecy to the mix. Scripture describes Anna as a devout woman who prayed night and day in the temple. Like Simeon, she was waiting for the deliverance of her people.
Anna had been faithful in her prayers and God honored her righteousness. On that fine morning in the temple, Anna saw the “Light”. Anna’s heart skipped a beat when she saw the little family enter and she knew instantly that her long lifted prayers had been answered. Yes, Anna was a minor character, but on that joyous day, she proclaimed a major message.
Why did God send Anna to that scene? Wasn’t it enough to let Simeon share the prophecy? There is no way to know, of course, but I wonder if God sent Anna to be a corroborating eyewitness to the coming of the Messiah, to the miracle of His long awaited arrival into our world.
For God didn’t just send a male to proclaim this Good News, he sent a female too. Simeon did not just forecast the salvation of the Jews, but of the Gentiles too. Jesus came for us all.
Perhaps the presence of both Simeon and Anna in the temple that day is an eternal reminder that God sent Jesus to us all. No boundaries, no limits. Jesus came to save us all.
As we begin this new year, let’s receive that divine message in our hearts. Let’s let it soak in and shape our thoughts and deeds. May we share its Good News with a world steeped in darkness. May we share its “Light” today with those we meet along the way. Jesus is the Light of the World and He came for us all.
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but 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 to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 2:36-38 – NIV
O Lord Jesus, thank You for coming into this dark world, that we might know Your Light. For You are the Light of the World and in You, there is no darkness. Thank You for loving us enough to sacrifice Your life so that we might have eternal life. For You came for male and female, Jew and Gentile. You came to set us free. Lord, let us live free, sharing Your Love, Your Hope, Your Light to all those You place in our path today and in the days to come.