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

Blessings Bestowed in Our Lack

The mercy of our Maker never ceases to amaze me. In the book of Luke, chapter seven, verses eleven through seventeen, we are told the tale of a widow whose only child, a son, had died. At that time, the repercussions of such a tragedy would have gone far beyond the emotional anguish of losing your loved ones. Her source of support and livelihood had just passed, and she would likely have been reduced to a life a begging for food for survival. When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, “Don’t cry.” Then He went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. – (Luke 7:13-15)

 

Jesus met her in her place of deepest need, and restored the hope for her future. Not one of our needs are unknown by the Lord. He sees and hears our every prayer. His ways are higher than our ways, and He is able to provide for our greatest deficit. Christ’s solution may look different than we might imagine, but He is faithful to meet us, if we choose to place our trust in Him. May we seek Him in our every storm, and praise Him for His every provision.

 

Compassionate One,Our Map and Our Guide

our Father above;

He hears our heart cry,

and listens in love.

He loves us the best,

has answers in mind;

He provides the way,

to seek and to find.

Christ’s heart is to heal,

to touch and restore;

a life in the Lord,

grants us hope for more.

Trial or triumph,

in hope or despair;

our Lord is faithful,

and ever aware.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are compassionate and kind, and that You are for us. Thank You that You see and know our every struggle and trial that we face. Thank You that You are with us and that You promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Forgive us for our lack of faith in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that when the trials come, we will not be shaken. Lead us to live lives that are clearly focused on You, so that we may love as You love us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, so that they too, may know Your safety in the storms, and tenderness in the trials. Use us as Your hands and feet made tangible to those who need to see You.  Be glorified Lord God, as we seek You and trust You in every season. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5