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The Christmas Prayer and Proclamation of One Elderly Woman

Tomorrow is Christmas Day. While the birth of Jesus didn’t happen on the day we call “Christmas” nevertheless, many celebrate His birth on December 25, our Christmas Day. Almost lost in the scripture account of Jesus’ birth is the story of Anna. By any measurement, Anna was an elderly woman. The Bible describes her as follows: “She was of a great age and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years” (Luke 2:36-37). Considering the fact that girls often married in their teen-age years, Anna would have been in excess of one hundred years old. According to the Jewish law (Exodus 13:12), Jesus was brought to the Temple to be dedicated to God. There in the Temple, Jesus was encountered by Anna, “who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:37). At this encounter, Anna “gave thanks to the Lord” (Luke 2:38). She prayed. Significant is what Anna did next. She “spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). Anna became one of the first evangelists! Anna showed us that it is never too old for one to have a fresh encounter with the Lord, and it is never politically incorrect to proclaim Him to others. What a Christmas role-model!

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