“And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36-38

Yesterday, we considered Simeon’s story, and it is important that we look at another person who was there, listening to Simeon’s prophecy and blessing. Today we will look at Anna and her place in God’s Word.

Luke doesn’t tell us much about Anna, and she is not mentioned anywhere else in Scripture.  He does tell us she was about eighty-four years old. I just turned eighty-five this year, so we have something in common. But there are some differences.

I have had a good life. God blessed me with a good husband, and we had 35 great years together. I have wonderful children, two of whom are active in the work of the Lord. I have had reasonably good health and the Lord has always met my needs.

Apparently, Anna was married young, but her husband only lived for seven years, and she did not have any children. So, her life could have been lonely. It seems that she had found a way to cope with that and spent her time in the Temple worshipping the Lord. Luke also said that she was a prophetess, which meant she ministered to others as the Lord directed her. We don’t know of any specific promise the Lord had made to her, but we do know she was looking and waiting for the Messiah.

This day, as she came into the temple, she saw Simeon as he prayed over the Baby Jesus and his parents. Perhaps, at this moment, she realized that God had given her the desires of her heart and she began to praise Him.

Luke 2:38 “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.”

Although we don’t hear the words of her prophecy, it seems to consist of inspired thanksgiving and speaking to other believing people who were present, agreeing with Simeon’s prophecy.

These two aged watchers, Simeon and Anna,  welcomed the King; but no one else, of all the crowds who went and came, guessed that the Messenger of the Covenant had suddenly come to His Temple, Malachi 3:1-3.

What a great reward for her faithfully serving the Lord all those years. She had found her place of service and given it her all and God rewarded her in a special way.

Prayer: Jesus, we all have a place and a part in your plan, help us to be faithful, living each day, guided by your Spirit, and waiting patiently for You to fulfill your promises.

Devotion by Anne Johnston