Meditation: Where do you place your trust and hope for a
life of peace, freedom and happiness? Scripture tells us that those who
place their trust in God will not be disappointed (Isaiah 49:23, Psalm
62:8, Proverbs 3:5-6). In every age, God has placed in the hearts of
his people, from the descendants of Adam, Noah, Abraham, the prophets,
and King David, a longing and a hope for a Redeemer who will bring us
God's kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness. We see the great
unfolding of God's plan of redemption in the birth of Jesus Christ, the
only-begotten Son of God before all ages, who became a man to redeem
his people from sin and oppression.
The long expected newborn Messiah is presented in the Temple
Luke the Evangelist records the coming of the Christ child (God's Anointed Messiah) to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth in Bethlehem (Luke 2:22-24). Joseph and Mary brought the child Jesus with them to the temple to fulfill the Jewish ceremony, recorded in the law of Moses, for the "redemption of the firstborn child" (Exodus 3:2) and the ritual purification of the mother after childbirth (Leviticus 12:2-8). As Joseph and Mary presented their offering and dedicated the child Jesus in the temple, Anna, a godly woman of great age (84 years) who was filled with the Holy Spirit immediately recognized that this child was the promised Messiah and heir to the throne of David. She publicly "gave thanks to God and spoke of him [who is the Christ - the Anointed Messiah] to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem" (Luke 2:38).
Anna's persevering hope and reward of seeing Christ face to
What is the significance of Anna's witness and prophetic proclamation of the Messiah's coming to his temple? Luke calls Anna a prophetess because she had dedicated her life to the service of God's word through prayer and fasting. Like Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) and all the prophets of the Old Testament, she was attentive to God's word and she spoke prophetically - under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - to others of God's plan of salvation for his people. She spent her days in the house of the Lord (the Temple) where she offered up daily prayers and intercession for her people.
Anna did not grow weary of placing her trust in God and his
promises. Here hope and trust in God did not waver but grew with
age.What enabled Anna to persevere for so many years and through
difficult times, such as the loss of her husband, and through the
trials of advancing old age? She never ceased to give thanks to God
each and every day. She worshiped God in daily prayer, and with fasting
and intercession on behalf of her people. And she never ceased to cling
to God's word and to speak of his word to others to bring them
encouragement and hope. She believed with hopeful expectation that she
would one day see her Lord and Redeemer face to face. Anna is a model
of persevering faith and hope to all who hunger for God and for his
The reward of seeking God's kingdom first
Is there anything holding you back from giving God your unqualified yes to his will and plan for your life? Allow the Lord Jesus to flood your heart with his peace, joy, and love. And offer to God everything you have and desire - your life, family, friends, health, and provision for the future. If you seek his kingdom first (Matthew 6:33), he will give you everything you need to know, love, and serve him now and to enjoy him forever in his everlasting kingdom of joy and peace.
This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/