“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.” Luke 2:36-37
I remember what it was like when our children were little and how excited they would be about Christmas. We would tell them that there so many more sleeps before the day would come. Of course, they would ask every day, how much longer?
The people who were waiting and watching for Messiah to come did not have a specific day to look forward to. The promise had been given but the exact time was uncertain. Every day as they suffered under Roman rule, they hoped that Messiah would soon arrive, and set them free. For many of them it probably was just like a dream, and something that was never going to come to pass. But there were others, who awoke every day, thinking this might be the day.
Think of Anna as she ministered in the Temple. For many years she had watched and waited with hope in her heart. Perhaps, every morning as she went about her daily tasks, maybe cleaning the lamps in the Holy Place, or tidying up around the altar in the outer court, she would pause for a moment, look up toward Heaven, and wonder, “could this be the day He comes?” And then one day Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple, and as joy filled her soul, she knew this was the one. She would not live to see Him perform miracles, or hear Him teach, but she rejoiced at His coming. God had rewarded her for her faithfulness.
Prayer: Jesus, we do not know the day or hour that you will return, but help us, like Anna, to keep watching and waiting for we know you will keep your promise.
Devotion by Anne Johnston