Anna was an elderly lady most people never noticed. A widow for many years, she practised a loyal, patient faith of regular worship and prayer. Nothing spectacular. Nothing to make the headlines.
But she does get a mention in the Gospel of Luke. On the day Mary and Joseph brought the week old Jesus to the Temple Anna stepped forward to greet them and speak about this child to anyone listening. Luke honours her with the title of prophet.
We don’t even know what she said! Probably some thoughts and phrases from the Old Testament like Simeon, Zechariah and Mary in the previous pages but we’re not told specifically.
Perhaps Scripture deliberately omits her words to let us know it’s also ok to use our own words when we testify about our Master. We should not belittle our personal service/witness. It may seem modest compared to the influence/eloquence of others but God the Spirit is pleased to use our few stumbling words with powerful effect to convict hearts and convert souls and build Christ’s Church! If we wanted another powerful encouragement to witness to Jesus we could read in Revelation 12 how the most hellish evil is overcome ‘by the blood of the Lamb and the word of (our) testimony’.
I’m reminded of something evangelist Billy Graham used to say. He said people only came to hear him preach the Gospel (as he did with great power and clarity) because someone in their work or sport club had been talking (perhaps less eloquently) about Jesus. Moved by the earnest witness of rank and file disciples, they came to listen to a preacher/teacher.
Anna spoke about Jesus. She said a few sincere words commending Him to others. She did what every Christian can and should do as opportunities arise.
Recently I’ve been greatly encouraged by a number of young adults with a passionate desire to follow Jesus and promote discipleship among the churches in NW Ireland. Not satisfied with a traditional nominal profession they are committed to really knowing Jesus and making Him known!
This is the way to go for this is the way it was always meant to be! Churches that survive and grow are churches in which members practise discipleship. We trust, we follow, we obey, we serve. Like Anna. We speak about our faith and particularly about the One in Whom we trust.
Let’s talk about Jesus, and to Him be the glory!