The Women of Christmas: Anna
“The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’”
~ Luke 1:28
The third and final woman of Christmas is one who is hidden in the pages of Scripture and not often considered. Anna, the prophetess, was 84 years old and never left the temple. Some might have considered her a zealot, others, maybe just a little unwell in the head, but she was faithful none the less.
Let’s go ahead and see what the Bible tells us about Anna…
Luke 2:36 tells us that she wasn’t just a prophetess, but the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. It also tells us that she was very old. When we do the math with the information in verse 37, we learn that she was in fact 84 years old.
And she was a widow.
“She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” Verse 37
Let’s go ahead and stop there. I don’t know if you are married or not, but I love my husband with every fiber of my being. If I lost him, it would feel like Jesus was all I had left. Yes, my life is full with my children, ministry, etc., but Paul is part of me.
To quote Jesus, “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Mark 10:7 & 8)
If I lost Paul, it would be like losing a part of myself and the only way I could go on living would be to turn to Christ and let Him make me whole.
While I pray I never have to experience that, I can imagine what Anna must have been going through.
In my mind, she is praying for God to come. To bring her home to Him where she will once again be whole.
It is to this broken woman, that Christ our King is shown.
There she is, fasting and praying and just calling out to God, when she sees our Savior across the way.
“Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” (verse 38)
Can you just imagine what it would feel like to be her at that very moment?
To be heartbroken and begging for God to make you whole, and then to see Him? To know that God was letting you know that He heard you?
What a balm to her soul.
This is the last we hear about Anna in Scripture. That’s all she gets, three verses. But when we peer beyond the words on the page we can learn so much.
God knows where each one of us is.
He is listening.
Mary and Joseph could have had Jesus in and out of that temple without ever catching the eye of Anna, but it was God’s plan that she saw Him. It was His plan that she knew who He was. It was a God thing.
Have you ever experienced a God thing like that?
Have you ever been broken and just known that God heard you?
Anna may have only got three verses in Scripture, but those three verses tell us of God’s love for us. He loves all of us and in the midst of the greatest story ever told, He took the time to let a broken-hearted woman know that He cared for her.
Take heart in that dear sister. Wherever you are this Christmas season, remember that God cares for you. Jesus was a gift to each of us. And in all of the hustle and bustle, God still sees you. He still listens. He will never be too busy to take time for you.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
~ 1 Peter 5:7
My pastor recently preached a sermon about Simon and Anna. I wanted to share a couple of things he said about Anna that really stood out to me:
Anna was old, but God still used her.
Anna was a widow, but God still used her.
God used her to tell others about Him, and she was faithful.
Whatever you are going through, remember that God can still use you. Even if _______? Yes, dear sister, even if ___________.
The question is, will you be faithful?