Monday (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 strength.
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."