Christmas Devotions: Anna

There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. She had lived as a widow since then for eighty four years. She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment, she came up to them and began to give thanks to God and to speak about the child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
~Doctor Luke, Luke 2:36-38

God invites those who are hurting into His family. Anna had only been married for seven years when the unthinkable happened, she lost her husband. In Anna’s time that meant she lost her income, her home and her protection. She was devastated. But God has a heart for the devastated. For eighty-four years Anna came under the protection of God as she worshiped him day and night in the temple.

Anna’s devastation drove her into a life of piety. Sometimes the beauty and the aroma of the rose leads us to a loving God, other times it is the prick of the thorn which drives us into the caring arms of our Savior.

Anna’s piety was rewarded with a glimpse of the redemption that God had promised the world. Her natural response to seeing Christ was to tell others of his life and mission.

Our hope for you today is that you will find love and shelter in God’s family just like Anna did.

Bonus Content:

Barney E. Warren wrote “Joy Unspeakable” the hymn playing softly in the background of today’s podcast. Warren authored order 2000 hymns during his lifetime. Many of his popular hymns are extremely joyous and a sharp contrast to most of the popular somber hymns of his time. Both somber and joyous hymns are of course very proper as the hymn has the power to reach into the depths of the soul and to the heights of heaven.

These words reflect perfectly the joy that Anna must have felt.

I have found His grace is all complete,
He supplieth every need;
While I sit and learn at Jesus’ feet,
I am free, yes, free indeed.

Refrain:
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.

I have found the pleasure I once craved,
It is joy and peace within;
What a wondrous blessing, I am saved
From the awful gulf of sin.

I have found that hope so bright and clear,
Living in the realm of grace;
Oh, the Savior’s presence is so near,
I can see His smiling face.

I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll;
It is like a great o’erflowing well,
Springing up within my soul.

With much love,3058B938-389C-4993-B4F4-77145ED8DCCB The Downings

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