|Story is adapted from Luke 2:25-34|
Anna opened the door of the temple and with slow steady steps she walked into this familiar place. She began to walk toward the altar, her wrinkled hand gripping the smooth wood of the pew to steady herself. The smells of oil and incense filled the air; a sweet fragrance reminiscent of times of worship and prayer being lifted upward just like the incense and candles.
Anna loved this place. It had been her home for many years now. Seven years after she had married, her husband had died and she had given herself to the service of the Lord, and that was eighty-four years ago. It was here in this temple that she had served Him faithfully. She had prayed with friends and strangers. She had shared burdens and joys alike. She had heard the preaching of God's Word and was reminded of God’s promise to send a Savior. She looked for Him here every day as she carried out her duties.
Today as she made her way toward the altar she heard her friend, Simeon. His voice was jubilant and excited. There was an air of anticipation and Anna felt a shiver seize her small frame. Though her eyes were dim, due to her ninety plus years, she thought she could see Simeon holding a baby in his arms. Yes, it was an infant and standing beside Simeon was a young couple, most likely the baby’s parents. Then Anna heard Simeon’s voice as he lifted his eyes towards heaven, the baby held tenderly in his hands,
“Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
Anna was lost in her own joy as Simeon then turned his words toward the young parents.
“This is my Savior!” she thought to herself. Tears formed in her eyes as she took in the details of this baby. Not just any baby, God’s Son, the Promised One!
Anna clasped her hands, tears of joy finding their way down her wrinkled cheeks. She would have wonderful news to share with all that entered the temple today…to all that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Christ was born, their salvation was here , their future secure!
We can learn much from the story of Anna. We could ask ourselves several questions in response to her life:
- With whom am I preoccupied today?
- Am I looking for the Lord’s return with as much anticipation as Anna waited for the Savior?
- Am I sharing with others the redemption that has come through Christ?
- Is my life happily filled with service to my God?