Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Anna's Advent Prepares Her For A Glorious Epiphany

Today I'm sharing the piece I submitted to Christ Church's Advent devotional.  I continue to be inspired by the long obedience in the same direction this prophetess lives.  I want to be like her, to practice earnestly the everyday, ordinary rhythms of worship in order that the eyes of my heart will be prepared to see the salvation for all peoples.

May it be so, Lord Jesus....


Seeing Salvation
by Tamara Murphy

Her father Phanuel’s name means “face of God”, but he only ever saw exile. Her husband married her at the appropriate time, but only saw seven years of wedded life before facing an early death. After the mourning was over she resolved to wait for a sight that would not only sustain her for life, but would enliven her people. Anna waited, fasted, prayed, day and night, in the temple, almost a hundred years, waiting for the arrival of God's Promised One.

During those years, she saw generations born, grow into adulthood, marry, give birth, grieve, worship, celebrate, suffer illness, chafe under Roman rule, grow old, die. Perhaps Mary, the mother of Jesus, sat under Anna’s tutelage, as church women have done for the next generation through the ages. Anna must have noticed this young woman, pure of heart and full of faith. Maybe she was even called upon to pray a blessing over her betrothal to Joseph. Perhaps this act of noticing day and night the rhythms of her people’s worship life is what led her to the temple at the exact moment the Messiah’s parents presented him at the temple. Or perhaps she was led in the Spirit as her prophetic counterpart Simeon.

Either way, we know long years of praying, pleading, fasting, loving the God of Christ trained the seer’s eyes for the moment she at last saw the face of his son.  She knew him when she saw him.  Anna and Simeon, ‘Grace’ and ‘God-Receiver’, prayer bent their aging frames across the
silent divide between an old covenant and the new. The old temple saints served
witness, first-hand receiving the reward of long waiting, seeing the salvation of all peoples with their very own eyes.  


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