Tag Archives: Anna

Waiting

Icon of the Presentation

Isaiah 40: 28-31

God seems to bless those who wait. Waiting is a timeless discipline with eternal rewards. The scripture has many stories of those who waited and learned.

Noah waited for years as he built a boat on dry land and learned the lesson of deliverance. Jonah waited three days in the belly of the fish and learned the lesson of obedience. The prophets waited for centuries to see the Messiah and learned the lesson of faith. Joseph waited in prison and learned the lesson of forgiveness. Zacharias waited to speak and learned the lesson of humility. Anna and Simeon waited a lifetime to see the Savior and learned the lesson of perseverance.

Waiting during the season of Advent can serve as a discipline to teach us many spiritual truths. While waiting we can develop patience and true obedience. We can glimpse the hugeness of God’s love and grace and learn to recognize holiness when we encounter it. Waiting nurtures our compassion and opens our eyes to see others in need. It opens our hearts to service and fosters a freedom to give and encourage others. As we pause and wait for God, we have time to assess our priorities, discover happiness where we are and develop an appreciation for what we have.

Advent is a time to deal with our fears, our anger, our disappointments, and learn to both give and receive forgiveness. It is a time to internalize the cleansing joy of repentance and to know the peace of taking last place. While we wait, we can use the unknown time to realize that living with mystery builds faith, and suffering and sacrifice reveal God to us. While waiting we acquire a dependence on God, we gain hope, and we become sure that while we wait we are never alone.

During Advent, the Church waits to celebrate the first Advent of God into the world and waits for completeness and perfection at the Second Advent. In the waiting, we find our peace.

Reflection – What have you learned from God during those waiting times of your life?
Monica Boudreaux

2 Comments

Filed under Advent

Anna, The Prophetess

Anna She was ancient, maybe more than one hundred years.  She was so tiny and hunched over that others were reminded of a frail bird.  Long, long ago, she was married for seven years and then he had died.  That all seemed like another lifetime, so many decades had passed.  She could barely remember his face anymore.

For decades, she had lived at the Temple.  She had come there every day to pray, and at some point, she just did not go home.  Now, she never left.  She stayed in the Court of the Women on the east side of the Temple.  There were some storerooms there mostly for musical instruments used in worship, and she had a pallet in one of them.  She was not disturbed.  Everyone either ignored her or loved her.

Her name was Anna, Hebrew for “grace”, and she served God with fasting and prayers day and night.  She cared little for food anymore, prayer was so much more important.  Besides, she was so completely devoted to God that at this point she lived more in a spiritual realm than on a physical plain.

From the Women’s Court she could look into the Inner Court where sacrifices were made daily.  Anna watched and prayed, because she knew that He would come to the Temple.  All of her devotion was preparing her to see that Final Sacrifice – the Lamb of God.  She had seen thousands of lambs sacrificed for sin.  She had learned patience and perseverance, and a deep understanding of holiness.

Anna was the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher, whose name refers to the face of God, and she would see God’s face today.  She watched them coming up the steps – a girl with a tiny baby and her husband.  The girl looked like a child herself to Anna.  She looked up, caught her eye, and Anna knew.  She had waited a lifetime for this moment.  The prayers of all her years were answered.  Her years of holiness prepared her to recognize the Holy One.  He had come to the Temple – the Lamb.  She received the ultimate reward for years of faithful devotion – Anna saw God Incarnate in the arms of his mother.

She was described as a prophetess – a rare distinction for a woman.  She was set apart, spiritually pure, this Anna, daughter of Phanuel, the last Old Testament prophet – the one who saw God face to face.

Reflection – How are you preparing yourself to meet God face to face?

Leave a comment

Filed under Advent, Advent Devotional