Luke 2:36-38 36There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Commentary: Anna’s father’s name meant “face of God”, and surely she waited long enough to see the Christ Child. As a widow of long-standing, she might have been working at the Temple because she had no where else to live. Her corroboration of Simeon’s prophecy is powerful; surely she saw lots of babies come and go, and clearly the interaction between Simeon and Jesus’ family caught her attention. It is interesting that even at her advanced age, there is no mention of her looking forward to her death, as Simeon does.
To Ponder: Blessings conveyed from one generation to another are very powerful. Did you have a family tradition of asking for a blessing before you parted? Have you ever offered or received a blessing? Imagine yourself as Joseph or Mary in this situation – how do you feel? What blessing would you like to receive this Christmas?