Daily D – Luke 2:38
(Anna) came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. LUKE 2:38 (NLT)
Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna are three women with starring roles in God’s redemptive plan. Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptizer who prepared the way for Jesus. Mary gave birth to Jesus and raised him in her home. Anna was widowed after seven years and was now at least an octogenarian and a prophet (verse 36).
A woman of advancing years, a teenager, and a certified old woman are at the center of the story of the incarnation of Immanuel, God With Us. It is impossible to tell the drama of salvation history without noticing women in leading roles. For some reason, this makes some men uncomfortable.
Look beyond stereotypes to what actually happened. God chose a woman who had longed for a child for decades. She no doubt attended the parties and celebrations surrounding the birth of children for her friends and neighbors and, in turn, their children’s parties and celebrations.
Every time she likely hid her loss with a smile and thoughtful service. Every time she likely wept when she returned home. No doubt she often wondered Why? Why did God not bless her and her aging husband with children? Why was their home the only one absent laughter in the walls?
God chose Mary because of her character and strength. In the movie _It’s a Wonderful Life_, Jimmy Stewart, who plays George Bailey, is having dinner with his father. His dad tells him he was “born older.” Some people come out of the womb with more maturity and focus than their siblings. It appears Mary was that kind of young woman.
You cannot examine her life without admiration for her strength, her focus, and her wisdom. What an amazing young woman to accept such a responsibility! What an amazing mother to trust her son to always be where he was supposed to be even when they were separated. What an amazing friend who saw the humiliation the wedding hosts were about to suffer and turned to her son who always knew the right thing to do in every circumstance and faithfully, flawlessly did what needed to be done.
Anna had a heart for God like no one else. Widowed early in life, she devoted herself completely to God. “She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer,” (verse 37). She lived a life of worship. God was always on her mind, forever in her thoughts. Her focus was on her love for him and his greater love for her. Then she met Jesus. All she could talk about was how he was God’s gift of love to rescue us.
Three women at the heart of it all. Three women often overlooked, ignored, or pegged for limited roles in community life. Three women God highly favored. Three women who were God’s instruments of universal blessing.
I will honor leading women who say Yes to God.
Our Father, thank you for Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. Thank you for using them to bless the whole world. Raise up more like them who wait for you, who accept your offers, who devote themselves to knowing and experiencing you and helping others do the same. Thank you for the leading women in our lives who make this world more like heaven on earth. Amen.
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Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy. (CSB)
Matthew 14:29 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. (CSB)
Matthew 14:19, 20 Then he commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces. (CSB)