36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
Dear God, I wonder how well Simeon and Anna new each other. And I wonder what Anna was like to be around. She is labeled by Luke as a prophet, but in this case, she is going off of Simeon’s recognition of Jesus as the Messiah. She was 84, so it’s not likely she lived much long after this day. The same for Simeon. That’s another thing about this story. We don’t have to physically see what you are doing. Your Spirit can tell us and that can be enough for us.
Finally, I wonder what it was like for the other people to hear what Anna said about Jesus. Did they recognize her authority as a prophet, or was she just the crazy lady who was always there? Did they respect her and come to meet the baby or did they pat her on the head and send her on her way? I would probably have discounted her and her experience. It reminds me of the shepherds back in Bethlehem going around and telling everyone what they saw. I wonder how those who heard the news responded.
Father, there is so much in my life that I don’t understand. The future is hazy to me. From family, to work, to community, I don’t understand what is happening or what, if anything, you are doing in any of the given areas. But I thank you. I worship you. I am confident in your goodness and I don’t need to physically see evidence of it to believe in it. But I do ask for your direction. I ask that you help me to step carefully, diligently, lovingly, and mercifully today, tomorrow, and for however much time you might have allotted to my life. Do it all for your glory, oh, my Lord.
In Jesus’s name I pray,