15 December 2017

“… and finally.”

38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:38 ESV)

Never in her wildest dreams did she think that this day would be the beginning of a whole new chapter in her life. After all, she had now lived for almost a century on this earth. Kindness, contentment and graciousness (for that was what her name meant) shone in the wrinkles of her lovely face. Life now had a settled rhythm, but it hadn’t always been that way. She had only been married for seven years when tragedy struck her home. Her husband died, there had been no children, no family to look out for her and she faced decades of loneliness and destitution. But God had been good and here she was living in the place where God had, in the past, spoken to His people, the temple, where every day she was reminded that Yahweh had chosen her people. He had not abandoned her and He would not abandon them.

Indeed there was a sense of anticipation in Israel. Messianic expectation was running high. For those who studied the prophets there was a belief that His long awaited coming was imminent. Many were looking for a militant Messiah, one who would rid them of the Roman tyrants and usher in a new Davidic-like kingdom. Others did not care; they had not learned from history and continued to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors by sinning against the ‘most high God.’ Oh they still came to the temple to worship for it was here Anna moved among them, an oppressed, backslidden yet hopeful people. She did what she could, encouraging, counselling and speaking of the God whose love and grace she had personally experienced. It was the task He had given her and she would do it with her whole heart.

Little did Anna realise when she eased her aged body from the little room she called home that today God would reveal to her the greatest event in human history, God had come to earth.

He had left His home, a place where the streets were paved with gold, the walls made of jasper, the foundations studded with precious gems, the sea crystal, where an innumerable host of angels worshipped and adored Him. This God had spanned a virgin’s womb, opened His eyes to a lowly stable, heard the sounds of beasts He had created, felt the soft hay He had watched grow, been visited by a few humble shepherds; many had looked for a militant Messiah, few recognised the meek Servant-King.

But Anna did. There He was lying in Simeon’s arms and immediately she knew Him. The effect one glimpse of the Saviour would have on her life would be dynamic for, “…she spake of Him to all…” (Luke 2:38). She could not stop talking about Him. In the twilight of her life God had given her a new beginning.

Let us pray that today God would grant us a glimpse of Himself. Not of the Christmas card version we are all so familiar with, but a real glimpse of a Saviour who came to earth because He loved sinners, because thirty three years later He would take the punishment which should have been mine, He would defeat death and rise from the grave all so that I could spend eternity with Him in that home He left for me. ‘God so loved He gave.’ Anna knew it and she couldn’t stop talking about Him.

Today, may we resolve to make a new beginning; God make me a Christian chatterbox for Christ.

Vi Dawson