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Anna is today’s Bible hero because he showed us the gift of Prophecy.
Essential Teachers notes:
The story of Anna may seem very brief, and is often tagged onto Christmas teaching programs, but the descriptive Luke gives shows that this is no bit-part in the story of Jesus’ childhood. The story below tries to hint at a few of the clues he left for us there, but I’d encourage teachers to read a little research on the character if they are able. This story is designed to be read in a story-time fashion and it may be nice to have an older woman playing the role of storyteller if possible.
Main Passage : Luke 2
There are many characters in the bible that seem to have just been in the right place at the right time, but today’s bible hero wasn’t like that. She had known right where to be, and so she stayed there, day after day, week after week, year after year, she went to the temple. She went to where the babies were brought as their parents thanked God for their safe arrival into the world. Anna was the name of today’s hero, and Anna was considered a prophet. A prophet is someone who has been told by God something about the future. One day God did what he had promised, after all the years of waiting Anna saw what she had known God was going to show her.
I wonder if you can guess what Anna saw, what she had been promised to see. I wonder if you can imagine the scene…
Anna is old, her hair is grey and her skin is full of wrinkles. She has seen many days in her life, days of childhood, days of marriage, and the day she lost her husband to heaven. She was never supposed to be in this place, this land, she was from a lost people, a people lost as the Jews had divided over time, and she waits for the one who will bring them back together, she waits in the house of the God who would unite them. She is walking in that holy house now, finding pathways on the old worn stones she knows so well. She hears the cry of a little baby and raises her head, the parents smile at her, but as she sees the tiny eyes look at her from the blanket she knows this is not the one. She walks to the parents and tells them they are blessed, turns and walks towards the next infant. A young mother stands with her first-born besides a man who is making an offering for at the birth of his son. She walks towards them and asks to see the child. The mother smiles proudly and parts the cloth gently to reveal the features of a tiny boy. There is nothing that looked great about this child, nothing amazing in his dark tufts of soft hair or his large Jewish nose, but to Anna the heavens just started to sing. This boy, this little bundle of God is the one she had waited for, she takes the child in her arms and starts to echo the prayer of praise hear heart is crying out, so loud is her voice that the room becomes still, amazed all eyes fixed on the strange and wonderful actions of this old woman. The only people who seem unsurprised are the parents, they seem to have almost expected this, and they stand shyly to one side waiting for the event to pass.
Anna knew that God would show her the saviour of everyone, the king of heavens own son would be seen by her eyes. That day Anna held in her arms baby Jesus, met his mother Mary and father Joseph. Anna may not have known when, but she knew where. We know God wants to use us, sometimes he tells us when, sometimes he tells us where, and sometimes he tells us how…. but sometimes God tells us to wait, and like Anna, if we wait, God will always keep his promise.