Women impacted by Jesus – Part 3.
Today we look at Anna, a prophetess, a widow, a worshiper. Anna encountered the child Jesus in the temple courts in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph were present, as was Simeon, a righteous and devout man. Coming up to them, Anna gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:38)
The trajectory of her life was transformed from worshiping and waiting to once again prophesying and proclaiming. Perhaps she stayed in the temple courts. Her advanced age most likely imposed limits on her mobility. Regardless, a new chapter of her life opened up after her encounter with the child Jesus.
Anna spoke about the child Jesus. We have been called to do the same.
Speak about Jesus. I’m afraid we often over complicate this commission.
In the process of cleaning out my in-laws’ home, looking through items that represent decades of walking with Jesus, I came across a book originally published in 1962, You Can Witness with Confidence by Rosalind Rinker. I was curious. Would the author’s message be outdated? No longer relevant? American culture has changed dramatically since 1962. I was intrigued. As I read through the book, I was refreshed and challenged with the simplicity and sincerity of the message. Allow me to share a few highlights:
- Too many of us are witnesses to our own religious experience. Jesus said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” (Acts 1:8 KJV)
- Remember Jesus’ words, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32 KJV)
- We need to know that we are witnesses to Christ, not to theology.
- To be a witness to Jesus Christ! The whole subject became intensely interesting. I had to know more about Him. My Bible became a new book for me. It became a source book for the life and teachings of Jesus, instead of a place to secure proof-texts for what I believed.
- You must take long, long looks at Jesus. You must read carefully what He did. You must understand the hopelessness of each person devoid of Christ. You must also read carefully and thoughtfully what Jesus said about Himself.
- “Come to Me,” Jesus says. “Learn of Me, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
I find myself challenged by the example of Anna. One brief encounter with the child Jesus led to a new-found priority to proclaim. How can I put this into practice? The same book cited above offered this suggestion: Choosing your words carefully, write a paragraph on this one idea: Why Jesus Christ is the center of my Faith. Find a friend who will listen to you while you try (without using the paper) to tell her why you believe in the Person of Jesus Christ.
May we all be impacted by a fresh encounter with Jesus through His Word. May we all find rest for our souls. May we all pray for and be ready for a conversation with someone today, where we can speak of Jesus with love, gentleness and respect.