Christmas Character: Anna
Suggested reading: Luke 2:36-38
While Jesus is being presented in the temple, we meet Anna—a woman who has been a widow for roughly 60 years. In a male dominated and male dependent society, Anna has survived alone. Rather than pursuing hope and stability in marriage, she has trusted in her God. Anna could rightfully blame God for her circumstances and misfortune, but instead chooses to worship. Worship defines Anna. As verse 37 notes, “She did not depart from the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day.”
Then Anna meets her God. On an ordinary day, in her long life of obedience and worship, Anna is blessed with a glimpse of the fullness of God dwelling in man—the baby Jesus. Anna’s faith is fueled by this encounter. Her brief experience seeing the word made flesh cannot be held in and contained. Anna’s time with Jesus compels her to tell others.
Anna’s life can be summed up as stated above: “The one she rightfully could blame she chooses to worship.” In this Christmas season, we are confronted with the missing faces and harsh circumstances of our broken world. We miss our loved ones as their chair sits empty at the table. We may wonder why we have been forced to endure certain circumstances. I believe Anna provides us a way to respond—worship. Our God is sovereign and good. At times those seem to be in competition but that is only due to our finite understanding. With Anna, we must proudly worship the one we could blame.
Jordan Whittington, College Minister