March 2nd, 2023
Her name was Anna, which means grace in Hebrew. It seems a fitting description for a woman who spent most of her life worshipping at the temple in Jerusalem. She was more than 80 years old when she finally met her Messiah, though He was only a small baby at the time.
In many ways, Anna seems like a very minor piece of the story of the birth of Jesus. Don’t blink or you might miss her appearance in Luke 2:36-38. Yet, Anna’s story lingers with me. Those few short verses about her life paint a picture of who she was in her soul. Hers is a story of devotion.
She was only married for seven years before her husband died—leaving her a widow for many decades. But even though she faced grief and hardship, Anna never left the temple. It became her new home where she spent each day and night fasting and praying. As Mary and Joseph arrived in Jerusalem to dedicate their new son, Jesus, at the temple, Anna was there.
She was the first woman to fully grasp the specialness of the young baby who held the hope of the world. She was the only woman in the New Testament clearly described as a prophetess. Anna was a woman of strong faith who dedicated her entire life to God. Then, Anna finally met her Savior—her hope.
After many years of waiting, it would be easy to feel like you may never see the Messiah or that there isn’t a way to continue serving the Lord. But Anna didn’t feel that way.
Just as it says in our verse for today, without hesitation, the aging Hebrew woman praised God for this gift of Jesus. Anna immediately told others about how the redemption of Jerusalem had arrived. Her story may be short, but it is significant. It is full of devotion, hope, and purpose.
As you reflect on the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ in the coming days and weeks, may Anna’s brief encounter with Jesus inspire us all to live life a little more like her.
Inspirational Image of the Day