"There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, 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 worshiped 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."
The definition of hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. As I think about the word hope I am reminded of the story in Luke about the prophetess Anna. The story of Anna and her faithfulness has always amazed me so much so that we named our second daughter Anna Ruth- after this amazing woman.
When we meet Anna in Luke 2:36, we learn that she is "advanced in years" as the gospel puts it. If you do the math, she is around 103 and she is still serving, worshiping and waiting to see the baby Jesus. She did not depart from the temple- but rather she was waiting in hope to see Jesus.
And as I sit here writing this, I wonder, how can I be more like Anna this Christmas season? How can I wait in hope to see Jesus? And wait with a heart that is constantly in prayer, worshiping, fasting- night and day. I challenge you this Christmas season, to see how you too can be like Anna, waiting in hope to see Jesus the Christ child.
Prayer: Father, thank you for examples in the Bible like Anna, who were devoted to you and waited well. She wasn't just passing time, but spending her time worshiping you and growing closer to you. Lord, I pray that during this Christmas season as I think about hope and the hope we have in you, that I will be spurred on by Anna's example to seek you and desire to walk closer to you daily. Amen.