Anna was a prophetess of the tribe of Asher. She was an elderly woman who had lived with a husband seven years and was a widow of about eighty-four years. Depending on how you interpret that, she could have been eighty-four years old. Or, she could have been eighty-four plus seven plus however old she was before she got married. In other words, over one hundred. However you interpret it, she was no spring chicken.
Luke 2:37 tells us that Anna never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. She lived at the temple, serving God twenty-four hours a day.
Because she was always at the temple, she was able to witness when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to Jerusalem for his baby dedication. She happened to be walking by when Simeon held Jesus in his arms and acknowledged him as the long awaited Savior. She gave thanks to God for being allowed to witness such a special moment then proceeded to share about Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
A childless widow was pretty low on the social scale of her time. Anna could have easily given in to grief and self pity and let other people take care of her. But that’s not the route she chose for her life. Instead, she used her singleness as an advantage. Without husband or child to take care of, she could devote herself completely to her Lord.
Whereas most would have grown bitter, Anna grew better. If you are alone this Christmas season, I encourage you to find a way to serve others however you can.
Read about Anna in Scripture: Luke 2:36-38
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