Christmas | The Supporting Cast

Part 3: Anna: Stayed Faithful All Her Days

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Faithfulness is so incredibly important, and valuable when it comes to our relationship with Christ. Yet, faithfulness is often not looked upon so highly by our culture at large. From a societal perspective, we are always looking for the next thing. We always want the plans for tomorrow to be available yesterday. If something is not going the way we think it should go, it is easy to just quit and move on. However, something happens when we remain faithful! We begin to realize life is really not about us and that our job is to stay the course and allow God to work. We realize that no matter what happens, God can be trusted and that through our faithfulness He grows us in ways we could never have imagined!

Faithfulness: One Day at a Time

Faithfulness is a daily, intentional decision. It would be much easier to remain faithful and steadfast in our walk with Christ if it was just for a few days, right? But, that's the challenging part about faithfulness – it's a life-long, consistent, and prayerful effort from us.

In Luke 2, we meet Anna, a prophetess late in her years. She was a woman who modeled faithfulness all the days of her life, and though she was widowed early in life, she remained steadfast in her faith and in her waiting. After years of patiently awaiting the Messiah, she was able to meet Him, to behold Him, and to praise God for Him. What a sweet blessing it was from the Lord that she was able to experience what her heart had longed for. And, what a blessing it is that we now get to learn from Anna’s faithfulness.

What the Bible Says in Luke 2

In Luke 2, we only get a couple of verses that describe Anna and her life. No, she’s not one of the individuals we may always think of when we discuss the Christmas story, but she’s someone who is special and someone who is worth noting and learning from.

What do we know about Anna? Well, we know that she was a prophetess, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher (Luke 2:36). We may not know the details of her family history or where she lives, but what we can take away from this is that geography and genealogy matter. God purposefully placed her where she was in the family she was in for a reason, and that’s why today, we read about her in the story of Jesus. God used her, right where she was, for a purpose, just as He can use all of His children.

Secondly, we know that she was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four (Luke 2:36b-37). What this points to is that Anna had experienced heartache. She had lost her husband at a young age, and from that point on, she had been living as a widow – alone, all on her own. Yet, what the rest of verse 37 says is this: She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying (Luke 2:37b). Despite the loss and heartache Anna had walked through, she held fast to God, with a steady, consistent, and prayerful routine. Her faith was undoubtedly what helped her to walk into each day, and it’s that faithfulness that is so incredible about this prophetess. 

Lastly, we know that Anna met the Messiah. She was simply in the Temple, as she was each and every day according to the Scriptures, when she saw Jesus – and she immediately praised God for Him (Luke 2:38). We don’t always get to tangibly see the promise, the desire, the longing that we have been praying and waiting for to be fulfilled, but Anna did. Her faithfulness led her to the feet of Jesus, and she was able to experience Him after years and years of waiting.

When you see Jesus this Christmas, what will you do?

Just as we have learned from Simeon and Anna, faithfulness is a daily endeavor. It’s a choice we make to pursue what God calls us to, to believe and trust even when we don’t have the answers, to hope despite the heartache we have experienced. Faithfulness will require us to remain wholeheartedly committed and devoted to God’s calling on our lives, and at times, it’ll force us to make hard decisions – to make the choice to follow our God rather than the world.

When the distractions and temptations of the world tempt us to turn our eyes away from Jesus, faithfulness calls us to be steady, to not delay, and to spread God’s Good News to those we come in contact with. And when we remain faithful to Christ, we, in turn, should respond with praising our Father in Heaven for all the things we have heard and seen (Luke 2:20). 

So, when you see Jesus this Christmas, how are you going to respond?

Respond with joy.

Respond with faithfulness, grace, and gratitude.

Respond out of the overflow of all that God has done in your life.

Respond today.

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