Short Meds in Getting Ready in Covid-Advent: 29. Welcome (2)
Lk 2:36 “There was also a prophet, Anna…. She was very old”
The values of the world are very different from the values of the kingdom of God. For instance, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” (1 Cor 3:19) meaning all human self-endeavours come to nothing, so often human wisdom falls short, human plans come tumbling down around our ears. Or try God’s dealings with Paul,”my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9) Or Paul’s assessment of the whole thing: “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things.” (1 Cor 1:27,28)
I say all this because we have come to that point in Jesus’ history where in the temple Simeon has just been prophetically blessing the little family and then come a few lines about Anna. She’s nobody famous, in fact the temple authorities probably thought her a bit weird: “She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” (Lk 2:37) She’s an eighty-four year old widow and all that is recorded of her is, “she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” (v.38) And that’s it. But she gets remembered and Luke writes about her. It’s not much it seems, but perhaps in heaven she was one who was well known and highly esteemed.
This glorious, aged saint declaring the wonder of the Lord, is an example to the younger generations, an example for religious people who base their lives on ritual and rules. She Has a heart given over to God. She fits into the gallery of faith in Heb 11 (no, she’s not mentioned there), as one who fits, “the world was not worthy of them.” (Heb 11:38) These are days for the aged. Put aside fears of Covid for the older generation, let’s pray for a ‘grey army’ who will be there filled with the Spirit and declaring, “The Lord is upright; he is my rock.” (Psa 92:14,15) She too recognized that the baby being presented was the chosen one of Israel. Can she, as well as Simeon be an example to those of us in the older age bracket to stand out as beacons of truth and love and goodness, still revealing the Lord to the world wherever we are given the opportunity, can we go for that? Put aside all the lies of the enemy that tell us, “Your day is gone, there’s nothing left for you. Be quiet. Sit in the corner and shut up.” Total lies. Anna shows that and is esteemed in heaven for it. If you consider yourself one of the ’little people’ in this world, think again! The world needs you.