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Posts Tagged ‘The Prophetess Anna’


Friday, July 24, 2020

Anna and Jesus

Anna and Jesus

Luke 2:36-38

Never Forsaken

There was also a prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until the age of eighty-four.  She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.  And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. 

Simeon is not the only holy voice who recognizes the Messiah in the infant Jesus.  Simeon and Anna are “Israel in miniature, poised in anticipation of the new”.  (Mays 932)  Yet despite the celebration of the moment there is a recognition of the suffering that will also take place.

God says: I do not want to dampen your joy or bring you sorrow.  I send Anna because I know that in your journey pain will always accompany rejoicing; and I want Anna to remind you that even when you believe I have duped you . . . you will have consolation.  I will never abandon you even though the harsh times may cause you to think that I will not return.  I will never leave you even though you may believe I have.  I want you  to know that I need not return to you . . . for I  have never left.  I am with you always. 

Anna’s appearance after the words of Simeon remind us that “Jerusalem will reject [Jesus] and will instead follow a way that will lead to disaster (19:41-44).  They will seem forsaken by God, but Anna is a reminder that the disaster is not God’s last word: Jesus remains for Jerusalem a sign of hope”. (Barton 930)

Enter the word hope into the blog search bar and explore other reflections that remind us of God’s constant presence in his precious gift of Jesus to the world.


Barton, John, and John Muddiman. THE OXFORD BIBLE COMMENTARY. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001. 930. Print.

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 932. Print.

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Luke 2:19-38: Recognizing Jesus

simeon-with-jesus

Simeon with Jesus

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Once the hustle and rush of Christmas and New Year celebrations have passed, we may feel a sense of loss when we no longer see family and friends as much as we would like. Or we may feel frustration with not completing all that we had planned to accomplish during the holiday. In either case, we might want to reflect on the story of Jesus’ presentation in the Temple.

We know that Mary and Joseph marveled at the attention of the shepherds and kings and that they were clearly aware that their child held a special place in God’s plan. Luke tells us that Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.

If Mary and Joseph did not fully understand the consequences of the entrance of God’s Word into the world, they must have understood that the shepherds had followed the words of the angels, and the magi followed their guiding star. Then when they take their infant to the Temple, two people they have never met recognize their child as the Christ. Luke tells us that they were speechless with surprise.

How was it that Simeon was able to recognize the child as the redeemer of the world? And how do we prepare ourselves to recognize him?

In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. 

Matthais Stomer: Adoration of the Christ Child

Matthais Stomer: Adoration of the Christ Child

How was it that Anna was able to rejoice when she saw the child Jesus as the fulfillment of a promise made by God? And how might we share the good news that God’s Word has come to live among us?

Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

How was it that Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna recognized and honored the child God? And how might we be as faithful, hope-filled and loving? Who are the angels we ignore? How many stars do we decide are too distant to follow? How might an exploration of these verses today bring us a sense of connection and peace?

Tomorrow, Christ’s inverted kingdom.

When we compare varying translations of these verses using the scripture link and the drop-down menus, we discover a reason to share with others The Word that we hold deep within.

For more reflections on Simeon and Anna, enter their names into the blog search bar and explore.

For commentary on these stories, visit: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/mary-simeon-or-anna-who-first-recognized-jesus-as-messiah/

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Luke 2:36-38: God’s Yardstick – Anna The Prophetess

Never Forsaken

Anna Meets Christ Face to Face

Anna Meets Christ Face to Face

Friday, January 15, 2016

In these opening days of a new year, we look for ways to better see God’s yardstick in our lives, and for ways to leave the world’s yardstick behind.

There was also a prophetess Anna, the daughter of the tribe of Asher.  She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until the age of eighty-four.  She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.  And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. 

Simeon is not the only holy voice who recognizes the Messiah in the infant Jesus.  Simeon and Anna are “Israel in miniature, poised in anticipation of the new”.  (Mays 932) Yet despite the celebration of the moment there is a recognition of the suffering that will also take place.

God says: I do not want to dampen your joy or bring you sorrow.  I send Anna because I know that in your journey pain will always accompany rejoicing; and I want Anna to remind you that even when you believe I have duped you . . . you will have consolation.  I will never abandon you even though the harsh times may cause you to think that I will not return.  I will never leave you even though you may believe I have.  I want you to know that I need not return to you . . . for I have never left.  I am with you always. 

Anna’s appearance after the words of Simeon remind us that “Jerusalem will reject [Jesus] and will instead follow a way that will lead to disaster (19:41-44).  They will seem forsaken by God, but Anna is a reminder that the disaster is not God’s last word: Jesus remains for Jerusalem a sign of hope”. (Barton 930)

Enter the word hope into the blog search bar and explore other reflections that remind us of God’s constant presence in his precious gift of Jesus to the world.

Barton, John, and John Muddiman. THE OXFORD BIBLE COMMENTARY. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001. 930. Print.

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 932. Print.

This reflection was originally posted on 21 January 2013 and is re-posted today as a the last in a series of women who serve us as God’s yardstick. 

For another reflection on Anna, click on the image above or visit: https://pastorpilgrim.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/pilgrimage-to-bethlehem-anna/

 

 

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