Prayer: O Lord, teach me to fast, to pray and to listen to your word.
Imagination: (Picture Joseph and Mary holding the Christ Child in the presence of Simeon and Anna.)
Luke likes to portray both men and women ministering. So, he added Anna, a prophetess, to Simeon’s story. She is a widow who serves in the temple by prayer and fasting. In this text, she says no specific words. She believes in Jesus and alerts all to his saving power for Jerusalem (which symbolizes all the elect).
Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
There was a prophetess named Anna, the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher. She was far advanced in years, having lived with her husband for seven years and then, as a widow until she was 84. She never left the temple but served night and day by prayer and fasting. Now, at this same moment, she came on the scene. She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
After the couple had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom and God’s favor was upon him.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- God has everything planned. At just the right moment, Anna comes on the scene.
- She is the perfect person. Everyone knows her because she is always in the temple, praying, fasting and serving needs.
- She understands immediately and believes that Jesus is the Messiah.
- She becomes an evangelist, telling everyone in the temple that she had seen the Messiah who would deliver Jerusalem.
- The family’s responsibilities are complete. They return ninety miles to Nazareth in Galilee.
- The years in Nazareth are so important. The child Jesus will experience all the natural phases of human maturing.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O God, all is planned for your glory and our happiness.
- Each of us is the perfect person, exactly the one needed to spread your word in our culture.
- O Jesus I must prepare for my task in your Kingdom.
- Help me to fast and pray. Give me a spirit of service.
- O Jesus, you are the Deliverer. You will free me and bring redemption to our land.
- Teach me your plan. Where am I to go? Where am I to settle?
- Help me to mature – to grow in wisdom and favor. This is my deepest request.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will believe that God has a task for me to do.
- Every day, I will pray and sacrifice so I can be ready.
Thought for today: (To recall your meditation)
At this very moment, she came on the scene.