Today, boys and girls, we are going to learn about how God blessed a very lonely lady. She used to be young and beautiful. Anna caught the eye of a special young man who loved her. They got married, because they loved each other so much.
One day, Anna’s husband got very sick and Anna was sad. Eventually, Anna’s husband died, leaving Anna all alone. She didn’t know what to do.
She was so very sad that she wore black everywhere, the way that widows did in her culture to show how they felt inside.
After some time, Anna realized that she needed to talk to someone about how she felt inside. She started to talking to God. The more she talked to him, the more her loneliness left. The dark feeling of sadness started to slowly lift and she began to experience the peace of being in God’s presence.
Anna found that praying gave her so much joy that she could share with God everything in her heart and much to her surprise, God started sharing his heart back with her. He began to speak to her about how he wanted to send his Son to be the Messiah and that she would get to see him before she died.
This made her very excited, so she started spending lots of time in God’s temple. The temple is the house where God lived many years ago before Jesus was born. His Spirit lived in the Holy of holies and many priests and people would worship him all the time there.
Anna loved going to the temple. It was so big and beautiful, with gold, even in the bricks! But, most of all, she loved to talk to God there and study the scrolls where his Words were written down. There she found prophecies, or clues that God gave his people. The clues in the prophecies would show them how to recognize the Messiah when he would come to deliver God’s people from sin.
Anna began spending so much time worshiping God, praying and reading God’s Word that she would forget to eat! God would bless her, because of she loved him so much that she would spend that much time showing him love and spending time sharing her heart and listening to his heart.
Then one day, a very special thing happened! God told her his Son was in the temple and that he was a baby! This made her so excited! By this time she was so old she could hardly walk, but she got her cane and hobbled out to where she could hear a baby’s soft cries as he was being dedicated to God. God’s Spirit filled her till she felt as strong as she did when she was young. She knew he wanted her to say something to encourage the baby’s mommy. She just knew what to say, because she spent so much time talking to God and reading his Word, she knew exactly what God wanted of her at that time.
She began to praise God so excitedly! No one had seen her like this before. They knew she was wise, because she spent so much time with God, but they could tell that God was touching her heart and that his Spirit was on her.
She blessed baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph and then ran about the temple, letting everyone know that the Messiah had been born and that life would never be the same again!
God traded Anna’s sorrows and loneliness for a very wonderful relationship. We can have that same relationship with God. We can give God our hearts and listen to his heart. When we are lonely, we can tell God and ask him to fill us with his Spirit, the way Anna did. We can spend time sitting in his loving presence and asking him to help us.
Here is our prayer to pray about loneliness:
“Dear Father in Heaven, sometimes I am sad and lonely. There are people who have hurt my feelings. Sometimes I feel like no one understands me. But, I know you understand me! You created me! You love me. You can take my broken heart when I am sad or scared and bind up my heart and heal me. You can take away my fear. Please God, teach me to talk to you the way Anna did! I want to know you like Anna did, so that I can share my heart with you and also you can share your heart with me. I want to love your Word, the Bible, as much as Anna did. I want to praise you like Anna did. Fill my heart with your love, fill my mind with thoughts of you. Teach me to walk in your ways. In Jesus name, Amen!”
Jesus Presented in the Temple
Luke 2:22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.