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She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. Luke 2:38 (NLT)

God’s message of hope never changes. God’s message of hope never grows old. Just as God’s message of hope never loses its effectiveness, neither do his messengers. Religion tends to hold on to tradition and thus lose its voice in society, or adapts to a changing society and loses its message of hope.

The prophetess, Anna, is a perfect example of the fact that age never disqualifies you from ministry. Nor does age rob you of the ability to minister effectively. Scholars disagree somewhat on Anna’s age. Some think she was 84, some think she was a widow for 84 years. Either way it’s safe to assume Anna was…OLD!

Even so, her age never kept her from seeking God. She was always in the temple. Some think she may have even been employed there. At any rate she was in the temple worshipping, praying, fasting and seeking God.

While her age may have kept her from performing some of the duties of the temple, it didn’t stop her from the most important part of the believer’s life. She prayed often and spoke to others about God’s love, forgiveness and hope.

She no doubt gave courage to the fearful, words of encouragement to those in desperate times; wisdom to those facing uncertain futures; offered praises to God when people found victory in their faith.

It’s interesting that when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple to offer sacrifice and to dedicate him to the Lord the baby was seen as nothing special. No fanfare greeted the new parents. No public announcement of the baby born in a manger.

The only ones to ‘see’ the couple and the baby on that busy temple day were two elderly people who had spent a life time seeking after God. Anna never lost her desire to serve. She never lost her focus on what was important: Prayer, worship, testifying to the hope we have in God’s provision of forgiveness and hope.

I’m thankful today for the Anna’s of our world. To those dear saints who haven’t let their age detract from their ministry. To those who may not understand all the ‘new things’ in the world, but embrace them and use them to further the Kingdom. Age is never an excuse for lack of effectiveness for God.

As the old hymn states so well:

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, Lord Jesus, ’tis now.

PRAYER: Father, I thank you for those who have grown old in you yet young in spirit and in faith. I ask that you would encourage them with your spirit and that those of us who are younger would not lose sight of their usefulness to you and to us. Amen.

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December 2012
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