When someone I love dies, I always write a tribute to that person. I keep these remembrances to remind myself of the way that their lives have added grace to mine. These words become prayers of thanksgiving that I offer God for the blessing the person has been. I usually write about how their faith inspires me to live more fully.
I never met the prophet Anna face-to-face, but she also inspires me to live fully. Maybe Luke had a practice of writing tributes, too. In these verses of his Gospel, he immortalizes her by name and acknowledges her long, faithful devotion to God. Three short verses speak volumes about this devout woman. She has loved and lost, living as a widow to age 84, which makes her vulnerable in her culture. Yet she lives out her days in the temple. She fills her hours by focusing on God through worship and service.
Anna’s devotion to the practice of fasting and constant prayer shows us what hoping for something with your whole being looks like. She longs for redemption and restoration and she sacrifices herself to pray for it. This prophet teaches us that when we become wholeheartedly committed to God’s promises, we are able to recognize them when they come to pass.
What a gift Anna provides as she shows us what it means to place our hope in God. All that we need may be found in God’s promises.
What are you hoping for? How do you cling to that hope faithfully and prayerfully?
God of hope, help us hear your words of promise. Let them guide us as we live in faithful prayer and service to you. Amen.