Thursday 30 December 2021
Today is Thursday the 30 December, in the Season of Christmas.
The Porter’s Gate sing ‘Simeon’s Song’. As we prepare to reflect on Anna in the temple today, can you become aware that you are in God’s presence now, that you too are God’s servant, and that you too are part of this story of salvation?
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.
In this passage, in a few short sentences, we meet Anna, a woman who has given her life to God, and through prophecy, to the care of God’s people. Maybe sixty or more years of faithful service. Is there someone in your life or community who would be an ‘Anna’? Reflect upon how their character has influenced your faith.
‘At that moment, she came and began to praise God.’ Has there been a time when you have felt this rush of recognition at God’s presence? Can you call that moment to mind now?
As you listen to the passage again, notice that, despite the witness of many people, including Anna, Jesus and his parents return to an unremarkable way of life. Yet ‘the favour of God was upon him’. Prophecy and witness fire the imagination. However, have you experienced the favour of God in the ordinary and the unremarkable?
Anna is certainly a woman who has received God’s grace. In a time of prayer, ask the Lord for the grace that you need at this time.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.