Wednesday (December 30): "All who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem"
Scripture: Luke 2:36-40
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, 37 and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. 39 And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Meditation: What do you hope for? The hope which God
places in our heart is the desire for the kingdom of heaven and
eternal life as our happiness. Hope grows with prayer and
perseverance. Anna was pre-eminently a woman of great hope and
expectation that God would fulfill all his promises. Filled with
the Holy Spirit, she was found daily in the house of the Lord,
attending to the Lord in prayer and speaking prophetically to
others about the Lord's promise to send a redeemer. She is a model
of godliness to all believers as we advance in age.
Advancing age and the disappointments of life can easily make us
cynical and hopeless if we do not have our hope placed rightly.
Anna's hope in God and his promises grew with age! She never
ceased to worship God in faith and to pray with hope. Her hope and
faith in God's promises fueled her indomitable zeal and fervor in
prayer and service of God's people.
How do we grow in hope? By placing our trust in the promises of Jesus Christ and relying not on our own strength, but on the grace and help of the Holy Spirit. Does your hope and fervor for God grow with age?
"Lord Jesus, may I never cease to hope in you and to trust in your promises. Inflame my zeal for your kingdom and increase my love for prayer, that I may never cease to give you praise and worship".
7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the
peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9 Worship the LORD in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity."
"Anna, who, by reason of her years of widowhood and her virtues,
is set before us as wholly worthy of belief, announces that the
Redeemer of all people has come... Not without purpose, however,
does he make mention of the eighty-four years of her widowhood,
because both the seven twelves and the two forties seemed to imply
a number that is sacred." (excerpt from EXPOSITION
OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 2.62)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright
1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the
Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the United
States of America. Used by permission. All rights
reserved. Citation references for quotes from
the writings of the early church fathers can be
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