“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 NIV11-GKE)
What are you looking forward to this Christmas?
The last phrase of verse thirty-eight challenges me! Anna was advanced in years (polite way to say she is a senior!) She worshiped at the temple, she was a devout lover of God, and she was committed to fasting and praying for her people.
I wonder how much she prayed, how much she talked with the Lord, how much she persisted in prayer. Her prayer, perhaps, was, “Lord, I want to see your salvation”.
I am challenged and deeply moved by her, by her total commitment to the Lord. I believed that in her prayed, she imagined different scenarios as to how this salvation would come. Was she surprised when she saw baby Jesus? How did she know it was Jesus she came across?
I believe that what she experienced was a prophetic revelation from the Lord, and deep inside, and she realised that her prayer was answered.
I am deeply challenged by the fact that having an encounter with the Saviour, her faith moved her forward in wonder, something that she was not going to see, but in faith, she was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. There is something significant here, as a believer, she was not just contented with seeing and meeting her Saviour, but also, she looked forward to the redemption of her city, for those who will find salvation and redemption through the one she was holding on her arms!
I am looking forward to a restful Christmas, wherewith my family we will celebrate the birth of Jesus, but the eye of my heart is also set on what Jesus will do in our midst.