Reflection: Characters of Christmas: Anna
Anna is godly woman who spent her days praying and fasting in the Temple. She was very old. Indeed, the saints in these chapters (Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna) all seem quite old. That’s significant. They represent the old age of the Law and the Prophets. It’s the age when you went to the Temple to meet God and you kept the law. That’s why so much that happens in these first chapters takes place in the Temple. Four times we’re told that Mary and Joseph went to the Temple as required by the Law of Moses.
Simeon and Anna exemplified everything that was good about the Law and that age. They’re righteous. They’re waiting for the Messiah. Luke is telling us that the old age and the new age belong together. The Old Testament points forward to, and eagerly awaits, Jesus’ coming. And it is thrilled when he comes. But now that he’s come, its work is over.
Like Simeon and Anna, the old age has been around a long time, but now it can depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation (2:30).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the example of faithful Anna who worshipped and prayed day and night, looking forward to the people’s redemption. Keep me diligent in prayer as I wait with longing for the coming Day. Amen.