Early Christmas Presence - Day 9
Early Christmas Presence
Early Christmas Presence— The Presence of Jesus allowed Anna’s eyes to see what her heart had already known—Redemption’s presence.
Luke 1: 36-38 (ISV)— Now Anna, a prophetess, was also there. She was a descendant of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow for 84 years. She never left the Temple but continued to worship there night and day with times of fasting and prayer. Just then she came forward and began to thank God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna was a woman who has experienced deep sorrow in her life; Anna is a woman who exemplified a life of Praise; and the world around her knew her as a prophetess.
Anna is the only woman identified by name as “prophetess” in the New Testament. She is introduced to us in Luke 2 as being from the tribe of Asher, anciently old, widowed for possibly 84 years (depending on how your translation reads). Her husband passed away after just 7 years of marriage.
I can’t help but think that Anna’s husband dying was not part of her “10-year plan.” I can’t help but think that Anna likely didn’t have children, since the word says she was always worshiping, fasting and praying in the temple. I would presume that Anna’s life looked very different as an aged woman, then what she had “expected” it to as a young Jewish girl.
As Anna’s original expectations of a typical Jewish life changed, she became expectant for something more.
Something she couldn’t see (yet).
Not just something but rather Someone— that Someone being “the Redeemer” of Israel.
Anna’s life was devoted to seeking the presence of the Lord through means of worship, fasting, and prayer. Often the pains of this life can hurt a heart so deeply that only the presence of Jesus can redeem those ravines of heartache and disappointments.
I believe this true for Anna.
The deep despair from Anna’s soul, created a unique space for high praise and an evidence to others of an unusual anointing. Oh, what God can do with our sorrows when we shift failed expectations to expecting His Presence instead.
I believe Anna knew the words of David the Psalmist which sang, “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken.”
When the business of Anna’s life changed — her business became keeping herself near the Presence of God (which is what the temple represented at that time).
As Mary and Joseph enter the temple with a normal-looking Hebrew Baby— Anna sees something different. She recognizes, not the flesh others see, but the Spirit of the Redeemer that’s she’s spent a lifetime seeking.
The redeemer of her heartache, the redeemer of her disappointment. The redeemer of her failed expectations.
I think heaven for us will feel something like this—seeing with our eyes what we already know with our hearts.
A widow beholding THE bride groom.
A childless woman face to face with the infant son of God.
A worshiper’s eyes seeing what her heart had already known— the Presence of the living God.
Anna— beheld her Redeemer and proclaimed His arrival to all who were expectant for this very moment of salvation’s arrival.
-Who has been an Anna in your life—that has proclaimed the redemption of the Lord to you?
-What heartaches, failures, traumas in your life still need redemption today?
-What does it look like to seek the Presence of the Lord in your life today?