Luke 2: 36-38
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. 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.
So how, exactly, can we be players in this cast? A scene that spans hundreds of generations? How can we make sure that our role is significant?
1) Like Simeon, Mary, Joseph, and Anna, we are obedient. We listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and we allow him to work in our lives, we do our jobs as ministers, parents, and carpenters and we wait to see how the Christ child will show up. Sometimes we hold him in our arms like that sweet little bundle of joy and sometimes we wait to serve him at the dinner table or sometimes with pray with him when he is feeling down or discouraged. We listen and we show up where God wants us.
2) Faithfulness: both Simeon and Anna are older, experienced. Simeon, because of his devotion to God and purity of heart, not only got to touch the Christ-child personally, but also had the opportunity to give a spirit-led prophecy to his mother. And like Simeon, Anna had devoted her life to making sure she knew what God was saying to her.
I think it’s interesting that two of the major players in this little slice of the story are older. They’ve seen a lot, had hoped to see the fulfillment of the law as predicted by Isaiah and others, and by God’s grace, they were able to physically see him.
My grandmother recently celebrated her 90th birthday. She’s amazing. So with it. We’re sitting at the Thanksgiving table together a few days ago and she’s talking about how unfailing God is.
I want that part.
I want to be the grandmother, towards the end of her life, whatever the circumstances, can attest to God’s trustworthiness.
Sometimes we wonder why we get put into certain situations, why people reoccur in our lives and then disappear perhaps never to be heard from again, but God has all of this beautifully choreographed and His ways are much, much higher than our own.
What part are you going to play?