Wonder of the Word

Anna - ‘On Post’

“..who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and
prayers night and day. And coming in that instant, she gave thanks to the
Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in
Jerusalem.” Luke 2:37b - 38 NKJV

It is widely known that Mary Magdalene was the first female to proclaim the gospel
of Jesus Christ. After she encountered the risen Savior near His empty tomb, the
former prostitute ran to tell her contemporaries of the good news. There was,
however, another woman who started her own buzz about Jesus, long before
Mary Magdalene’s testimony.

Walking Close
Anna was a simple, humble servant who got a sneak peak at Jesus when He was
only a few days old. She saw a version of the Savior about which few people
could boast. Joseph and Mary had brought an eight-day-old Jesus to Jerusalem
for the customary dedication in the temple. I imagine that even in His infancy,
Jesus exuded a radiance so overwhelming that it maximized Anna’s relationship
with God  - the way it is intended for all of us.

Not much is known of her upbringing. She descended from the tribe of Asher, was
a widow after a brief seven years of marriage, and became a prophetess in a
Jerusalem temple.  Our key verse points out that Anna did not depart from the
temple. All that she needed for and from life was there. In this poignant moment,
while she was on her post, those decades of seeking God were all worth it when
she fixed her eyes on the Redeemer. At first thought, it seems odd that an elderly
woman would find comfort in an infant child; except, He was no ordinary baby.
This child, Jesus, cradled in Mary’s arms, would bring relief to all people who
would accept His love, His consolation, His forgiveness, His peace, His

Luke calls her a prophetess, one who proclaims the Word of the Lord. God used
her as one of His key people, during the oppressing time in which she lived, to
get His Word out. Being on her post allowed Anna to be in the proper position for
God to use her at a defining moment – not everyone could have handled such a
responsibility as effectively.

Fully Committed
I believe God allowed Anna this privilege partly because of her dedication to Him
on a daily basis; the private worship she gave Him when no one was looking or
listening.  After her husband died, she made it her business to give her whole self
(mind, heart, will, etc.) to God for the rest of her life. Perhaps her grief led her to
this enormous dedication, but what a commitment nonetheless  And Anna wasn’t
just “hanging around the church,” she capitalized her time with much fasting and
prayer. No spouse, no children, no conventional job - no distractions. She had
nothing to interfere with her fellowship and offerings to God; not even concerned
with the cares of the world around her.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Anna was pleasing to God (Ps. 19:14). I know
God didn’t call each person to that type of ministry...oh but how close she must’ve
been to Him  Anna was an encouragement to all in her presence, and for us,
regardless of our call and no matter where our post.

For further study on Anna, please see Luke 2:36-38. Dedicated to the memory of
Latonya D. Graham, 1977 – 2002.
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