Anna’s Answer

Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fasting and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up and broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem. – (Luke 2:36-38, MSG)

 

Though Matthew does not reveal to us whether or not Anna had been promised to see the Messiah before the end of her life, I imagine that her presence in the Temple was no accident nor coincidence, as Mary and Joseph brought Jesus on the eighth day after his birth. It is difficult to fathom the life of Anna. Widowed, likely at a very young age, she chose to remain in the Temple area day in and day out, for decades. Matthew describes her has a prophet, and her heart was clearly connected to God as she worshiped and prayed day and night. Likely, one of her often prayed prayers was for the Savior to come to rescue Israel, as had been foretold in scripture. Incredibly, after all of her faithful time spent serving and honoring God, she suddenly found herself standing in the presence of a promise coming to fruition. Immanuel, God with us, came near in a tangible way to Anna, who had waited nearly a lifetime to behold the very One who was held before her. May we worship with the same sort of wonder and celebration as those first few whom God blessed with the opportunity to be in the presence of our Savior. The glory of the first Christmas remains the same, as we celebrate God with us, now and forevermore.

 

Remarkable the faith, Annas Answer

And hope she held dear;

Faithful for ages,

Prayers that God come near.

In awe and wonder,

Her eyes did behold;

The promised Savior,

Scriptures had foretold.

She could not help speak,

To all others tell;

This most holy news,

Rejoice! It is well.

The hope she had held,

Was found in the eyes;

Eight-day-old baby,

Future realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to save us. Thank You that Jesus made the way for us to be in right relationship with You, despite our shortcomings. Forgive us for forgetting all that Jesus went through to not only redeem us, but to know and understand our struggles and pain. Teach us to trust You with a relentless faith like Anna. Help us to faithfully pray and worship You, regardless of what we see. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers hope where there is none, so they too may look to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You and praise You for all that You have done through the precious gift of Your Son. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Where Greatness is Found

They began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. – (Luke 22:24, NLT)

Later, the apostles began to argue about which one of them was the most important. – (Luke 22:24, ERV)

The disciples bickered over which one of them would be considered the greatest in the kingdom. – (Luke 22:24, TPT)

 

Even after spending nearly every day with Jesus for the previous three years, the disciples still argued and postured for position. What this shows me is that even those who walk closely with the Lord, are subject to the frailty of the human condition. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and we all desperately need a Savior to lead a life of love, according to His good and perfect will. A bit further in the same chapter, Jesus let the disciples know that to be great, is to serve rather than to be served. He reminded them to follow the example that He had set before them all along. As always, the main message can be simplified to loving God and loving people. If we do both of these things, we will not worry about being greater, because we will prefer one another in love. Love lifts up, it does not tear down nor posture for position. May we ever seek the Lord and His ways, so that we can love Him and others for all of our days.

 

Let’s fix not our eyes, Enter With Thanksgiving

On how to be great;

But instead choose serve,

Lift up, elevate.

Choose prefer others,

Let love lead the way;

For this is God’s plan,

To share well His grace.

Never be worried,

About being great;

For God looks at you,

And He celebrates.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us not because of what we do, but because we are Your created. Thank You that You meet us where we are, and love us anyway. Forgive us for our foolishness that argues or seeks position rather than Your affirmation. Teach us to trust You more, so that the only approval that concerns us is Yours. Show us how to love those around us in a way that prefers others first and meets needs wherever they may be. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to love You and love people as You call us to do. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

When My Soul Waits

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. – (Psalm 130:5, NIV)

I am waiting for the Lord to help me. My soul waits for Him. I trust what He says. – (Psalm 130:5, ERV)

Often, it seems that there is a season of waiting between active steps of obedience. It is in this in-between time that we are in what feels like a holding pattern, yet it is in this very space that we are called to wait and to trust in Him. Hope rises as we actively engage in time spent with Him. As we wait, He stretches, refines, restores, grows and prepares us for the next steps we are meant to take. Though waiting seasons are a struggle, the result of such seasons is something stronger and far more than we had imagined before. May we wait on the Lord in trust, and place our hope in His word.

O Lord the waiting,When My Soul Waits

is so hard to do;

seasons of stillness,

of trusting what’s true.

Lord help me in faith,

to Your hope, hold tight;

Your timing’s perfect,

and Your plans are right.

I trust who You are,

and Your word is true;

prepare this old heart,

for what I’m to do.

Let Your hope arise,

where doubt has crept in;

restore strength and faith,

fan the flames within.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we wait for You, we can put our hope in You and Your word. Thank You that You are truth and light and life. Forgive us for our lack of patience and endurance in the seasons of waiting, and teach us to trust in You, so that we will see these seasons as opportunities to be stretched, strengthened and transformed into more of who You have created us to become. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they see You through all that we do and say. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we wait in trust with hope, as You direct our every step. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

What Power is This?

He made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. – (Jeremiah 51:15)

 

In the midst of sharing the message of destruction that the Lord had for the Babylonians, Jeremiah perfectly placed this poignant passage that recognizes the remarkable, in the Lord alone. Though the Babylonians were a powerful force, they would not stand under the opposition of He who made the earth. No people’s power can come close to His. A wisdom and understanding that stretched out the heavens, cannot be compared to the mere minds of men. When all seems chaotic and on a downward spiral around us, we can hold fast to He who is greater than all. Our hope is present in Christ, and our future forever secured in Him. May we go forth in His grace, trusting in His power, wisdom and understanding that are far greater than all else.

 

What power is this,IMG_0069

that created earth?

Who founded the world,

and ordained our birth.

The God of heaven,

Creator of Earth;

granter of new life,

breathed life at our birth.

In His great wisdom,

He stretched out the skies;

hand-crafted all things,

where true beauty lies.

The very same God,

Who spoke life in all;

will come dwell in us,

and answer our call.

Trust in His wisdom,

rely on His grace;

He is our true hope,

our peace in this place.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the earth by Your power, and You founded the world with Your wisdom. Thank You that You stretched out the heavens with Your understanding. Thank You that You who can do such mighty things, care for each of us, individually. Thank You that You know us intimately, and still love us with Your life. Forgive us for forgetting just how big and powerful You are in the midst of our messes, and help us to hold fast to You – the only One who is our hope, our comfort, and our peace – regardless of what is happening. Help us to trust You more, so that we move mightily on Your behalf. Let us love others as You love us, and may lives be changed and hearts turned toward You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we stand in awe of who You are and all that You have done. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16