Saturday, March 11, 2023
Anna in the Temple
22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:22-24, 36-38
To most people in the temple that day, Jesus was just another baby. But somehow Anna knew that Jesus was different. He was special. Why? Because he was the Messiah – the Christ – the promised one who would save his people. So she could not contain her joy. She told anyone who would listen that this baby – this Jesus – was the one w had all been waiting for.
I experienced that joy with the two children we adopted. To me, they were not just run-of-the-mill babies. They were MY babies, the ones I had been waiting for all my life. To me they were the most beautiful and precious babies in the world. Even though one is married and the other is ready to graduate high school, I still think they are the most beautiful and most precious children on the planet. That’s just how a mother’s love works.
Someday, those same feelings I have for my children will be the very feelings I have for my grandchildren. Isn’t it wonderful how God “wires” us to feel so much love? That’s how Jesus feels about all of us too. We are all so different. Yet Jesus loves each of us individually, fully, and completely. To him, WE are the ones he has always been waiting for. He will never leave us. He will love us forever.
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, thank you for giving me my wonderful children. Thank you for claiming me as part of your eternal family too. Continue to unite us and bind us in your love, I pray in your holy name. Amen.
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The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.