Friday, December 22
Read: Luke 2:36-37
What is it like to lose someone you love, and then spend the next six to eight decades alone, praying? What is it like to wait for something promised, but seemingly not fulfilled? As one author describes, between hope and reality there is a desert of waiting and wondering, a dry and parched land where there is no water.
We know a little more about Anna than Simeon, but not much. She was a female prophet. Her name means “grace” or “favor,” and the tribe that she was from, Asher, could be translated as “good fortune,” but her life didn’t seem to be favored. After only being married seven years, her husband died, leaving her a widow for more than 60 years,, possibly even 84 years.
For all those years she was in the temple for the evening and morning sacrifices alone, worshipping God with prayer and fasting. Who knows what kind of pain she experienced at her loss and through the years of being by herself. Hope in God’s redemption alone sustained her. That hope did not disappoint. She recognized her Redeemer, and she became one of the first evangelists. Through her difficulty she saw what really mattered.
Consider: What really matters to you? How can your renewed hope in God’s redemption change your focus this Christmas?