Anna – Luke 2:36-38 Waiting a Lifetime
The stories of Simeon and Anna are usually told together, almost as if they were a couple. I’m sure they knew each other since they were both elderly and served in the temple. It’s more a matter of timing that she appeared just as baby Jesus was consecrated.
To me, the story of Anna stands on it’s own with it’s own message.
In a book where men seem to take center stage (good and bad), here enters a woman.
An eighty-four year old woman, in a time and culture when women and men rarely lived that long. I’m sure everyone knew her, as she was at the temple daily.
Her life had not been easy. Her dream was to be married, have babies, have a home. Instead, after 7 years of marriage, she had no children and her beloved died. Assuming she matured around 14, that makes her around 21 years old when she became a widow.
Obviously, none of the relatives took her in or gave her a child in the old testament tradition. Women like her often became prostitutes in order to survive.
But Anna was different. She made the choice to devoted herself to God. She’s called a “prophetess” but we don’t know what she prophesied. Obviously she was respected and allowed to stay in the temple.
Anna’s response to seeing God in the baby Jesus was twofold: she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Like Simeon, she was overwhelmed with gratitude. Salvation was on it’s way. She had seen the Christ-child.
But she went one step further. She had to tell others. You see, Simeon and Anna were not the only ones waiting for redemption. There were others.
Just like John the Baptist, Anna was a truth-teller, a for-teller of the Christ to come. Can you picture it? Little ol’ Anna, skinny from fasting and age, shuffling down the streets, telling everyone she had seen in the temple truly worshipping, believing, that she had seen the baby, the Christ-child.
Lessons for me from Anna —
- I’m never too old to tell others of what I know.
- Women have responsibility also, to make good choices and to speak out the truth. It’s not just a “man’s world.”