Throughout the Christmas season, everyone will experience specific events that will make up this year’s celebration. Some will become vivid memories—good or bad—that we will carry with us the rest of our lives. They might come through a church or school program, the trauma of shopping, parties, or the individual things we do to prepare for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Will our memories center on Jesus? Not all—but hopefully many. Without Him, there would be no Christmas. And without a revelation of Him, our memories fall short because we miss the meaning of the event.
Only a few individuals outside the family understood the significance of God's visitation when Jesus was born, but a prophetess named Anna did. She was “of great age. . . .” (Lk. 2:36b) After her husband died when she was still young, she had given herself to prayer. The Bible tells us, She did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. (v. 37)
Then Joseph and Mary brought Jesus into the temple on the day of His dedication, and Anna had a revelation. The Bible tells us, in that instant, she gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. (v. 38)
Over the years, Anna had collected many memories as she learned from God's Spirit. All came togeher when she looked at a baby and recognized the future ministry of Jesus. For revelation is built on what we know. Anna recognized Jesus because she already knew Him with her spiritual eyes. When we are ready, He brings revelation.
Originally published December 26, 1986.
Picture: Poinsettia tree, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2008. Photo by Solveig.