Friday, 18 October 2013

Blessing the Children Around Us: The Woman Who Blessed The Child by Witnessing about Him

This is the second blog in the series on women who blessed children around them. This woman mentioned in the Gospel according to Luke.

Anna is an unusual aged woman in the Bible. As a widow she might have faced many years of loneliness in her life. Number of years she lived as a widow was much more than the total number of years she had lived with her husband and with her parents. It is not clear whether she had children. If she had children most probably she would have been living with them. Any how, she decided not to dwell in these sorrows and misfortunes. She turned her from a life of misfortune to the life of a prophetess.
They are waiting for us
Another factor is her decision to take up the journey to live in the temple. She traveled a long way from her tribal territory of Asher to come to Jerusalem. We do not know for how long she had been living in the temple without leaving that place. We read that she was a worshiper, a never ending worshiper of God. She worshiped day and night. She had a life of fasting and prayer. This shows she is a adherent worshiper of Yahweh.
Anna's worship and devotion came to a climax as she saw the child of Joseph and Mary who is the fulfillment of all she believed and practiced. She blessed the child by her words and action. When she came to know in her spirit that Messiah had arrived in the temple, she came to him. She not only she came to him but also gathered all those who were waiting for the Messiah. She spoke about the child. She gave thanks to God for sending the Messiah. Thus she praised God and became a channel to lead others to praise. Knowing all the unusual qualities of this aged widow, I can guess that people noticed and listened to her words about the baby. She became the third woman to believe that Jesus is the messiah next to Mary and Elizabeth. Yet she became the first woman who publicly announced the truth that Jesus is the Messiah. And she did so in the temple.
What a source of blessing she became to Joseph and Mary and also for the child! Many had a questions regarding the father of this child. Neighbours of Mary and Joseph might have had a lot of unanswered questions before he was born and after he was born. Yet Anna brought joy to the life of this family by affirming that this boy is the Messiah. She indeed blessed the baby.
Can you imagine living a life of misfortune as Anna lived? How many of us are willing to lift up our eyes from our sorrow to God to wait upon Him in prayer? How can we turn our misfortunes to be a life of blessing to children who may not be accepted by others? There are many women among us who live in their past sorrow. Unlike many, Anna decided to enjoy her life by being a worshiper who sought the coming of the Messiah. Thus she not only saw the child but also blessed the child.

Jesus took children in his arms and blessed them whom his disciples thought were not worthy to be touched by Jesus. How many of us notice children as they walk through the doors of our churches? Or are we immersed in our own sorrows and joys? Or in our own private spirituality? How many of us recognize the need of affirmation in the life of the children we see? Or are we busy with our own credentials as a prophet or worshiper of God? Take time to bless a child.