“And there was a .prophetess, Anna…She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36, 37, 38
It’s A Wonderful Life remains an iconic Christmas movie, setting the standard for inducing warm, heartfelt emotions which most modern Christmas movies strive towards, but fail to achieve. The main character, George Bailey, feels like everyone would have been better off had he never lived. He is given a rare gift by Clarence, a second-class angel, the opportunity to see what life would be like if he had never been born. He quickly learns that the life he deemed insignificant was truly a life that was brave and impactful to those around him. He found value and significance in his ordinary life!
So many of the characters in the nativity were ordinary people who found significance in the presence of Jesus, including Anna. Only mentioned in three verses, Anna was married for seven years before her husband died, and she lost her sense of purpose, income, and heritage. Likely being childless, Anna served in the temple for the next eighty-four years. The Bible records that she “served God with fasting and prayer night and day.” Her ordinary habits of praying and fasting aroused her spiritual sensitivities to the presence of God, allowing her to recognize the presence of the Messiah in the temple. The Bible records she instantly came to Joseph and Mary’s side, offering words of gratitude to God. She then proceeded to prophesy that this baby would bring redemption to Jerusalem. Society had written off any value Anna’s life could offer, yet she remained faithful to God and found a hallowed place in scripture that made her life significant!
Whether we, or society, deem our lives as insignificant, we can be confident that our lives have significance in the presence of Jesus!