Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story – The Senior Citizen

Christmas Women-The Sr Citizen

See the INTRODUCTION FOR THIS SERIES in the #SoulH2O post two weeks ago Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story  The series is talking about how each of the #ChristmasWomen were:

CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN – ELIZABETH was the first Christmas Woman celebrated.  I talked about how she protected the promise of God.  Last week celebrated THE TEENAGER – MARY discussing how she was willing to be inconvenienced to carry the promise and very presence of God, Emmanuel: God with us. 

Read on to learn about our last Christmas Woman everyone’s been wondering about…

THE SENIOR CITIZEN…

CHRISTMAS WOMEN-ANNASince I’m totally breaking my format for #SoulH2O devotions with this series, I decided to share the whole of Anna’s story with you (a whopping 3 verses) because so many of you have commented or sent me messages saying you can’t wait to see who the Senior Citizen is.  This lets me know that many of you don’t know who she is, so you probably don’t know her story and she’s absolutely a woman worth celebrating!

The Prophecy of Anna

“Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years.  Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.  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 2:36-38  NLT

Anna is the last of our Christmas women.  She was the only woman who didn’t carry a physical baby in her body, but there is no doubt in my mind that she carried the promise and presence of God to the people in her day.

Anna knew what it was like to face hard times.  She was widowed at a very young age and never had any children. During Jesus’ time women who weren’t married didn’t hold much value in their society so this fact lets you in on how “unimportant” Anna could have seemed to many in her day, but Anna was a prophet.  She spent her days serving in the temple, worshipping God with fasting and prayer.  It was out of this lifestyle that she heard from God and shared His messages to His people.

There’s so much that sticks out in my mind about Anna, but the words waiting expectantly from Anna’s life-story just jump out at me and Christmas really is a time when people are found waiting expectantly.

WAITING EXPECTANTLY

For centuries children on Christmas Eve have hung stockings by the fireplace and struggled to fall asleep with nervous anticipation of what Santa will bring in the morning. My kids were no different than the masses.  In order to help my kids be able to fall asleep on Christmas Eve I started a tradition where they were allowed to open one gift at bedtime.  That gift was always a pair of new pajamas and a book.  Not the most exciting gift, but it created the atmosphere I hoped for.  Brandon and Shelby would change into their PJ’s and were allowed to read their new books before lights out.  The PJ’s made for nice pictures on Christmas morning and the books helped them fall asleep.

Waiting expectantly on Christmas Eve is pretty simple for kids since they know the next morning is Christmas day and they can see wrapped presents under the tree. The way Anna and others waited expectantly for the promise of God to be fulfilled wasn’t so easy.  Anna had been waiting for about 60 years.  She was doing all the right and good things while waiting but she had been waiting for oh so long!  She never gave up hope waiting for the promised Emmanuel, the Messiah…JESUS to come.

Maybe you’ve been waiting a long time for your promise.  Maybe you feel like too much time has passed and you need to “move on” or “give up”.  I pray Anna’s story restores your hope and gives you faith to believe.  Know that at Christmas and always, God keeps His promises and fills you with His presence while you wait.

Prayer

Father…I thank You that you’re not like Santa doling out gifts I don’t need.  You make promises to me and fulfill them in Your perfect timing.  You know exactly what I need and what’s best for me.  Help me to trust You and Your timing.  May I live with a special expectancy this Christmas carrying my Promise from You and Your Presence within so I can share it with the world when my promise is ‘born’.  In Jesus Name…Amen

ANNA CARRIED THE PROMISE AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD…I WANT TO BE LIKE HER.

If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

#Dare2Share
Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

You can often find me linking up with:
MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis,
TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley Gerth,
THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms,
FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. Mead, Grace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell

Comments(10)

  1. Valerie Sisco says

    Hi Sherry,
    Anna’s story is so encouraging since she did not give up hope the older she got! Serving so faithfully and looking expectantly for God’s promises speaks to all of us who think we might be too old 🙂 or too ordinary or too passed by to still see God working in our lives. I enjoyed this series of your sketches of these inspiring women! Merry Christmas! xo

    • Sherry Stahl says

      Valerie,
      I’m so glad that God has connected us and inspired you through these Christmas women.
      Praying that God’s Presence is rich in your heart this Christmas and that you have faith to believe in His Promises!
      Much love,
      ~Sherry
      xoxo

  2. Laura Davis says

    Sherry, I have loved reading about your women of the Christmas Story. And you made us “wait expectantly” for the final reveal! I love how you have taken Anna’s story and combined it with the anticipation and expectancy of Christmas to show us how we can apply that to our lives as we bring Jesus’ message and love to the world. Well done!

    • Sherry Stahl says

      Laura,
      I’m so glad you loved reading about these amazing women. Thanks for your encouragement. It really means a lot coming from such a great writer as yourself. I truly am living with the intent to bring Jesus’ message and love to the world…to bring ‘God with Us’ to them.
      Praying that God’s Presence is rich in your heart this Christmas and that you have faith to believe in His Promises!
      Much love,
      ~Sherry
      xoxo

  3. Tiffany Clark says

    It’s amazing how front and center these women are in the way the gospels are told, as if the writers want us to notice them and their critical role in “giving birth” to the Church. I love how you highlighted Anna’s significance as a temple prophetess, especially in contrast to the insignificance her society would have assigned her as a childless widow. What a great role model for what a woman wholly devoted to God can be and do!

    • Sherry Stahl says

      Tiffany,
      I’m convinced that our past North American culture has us reading the Bible with blinders on to so much truth and the value of women is one of them. For some reason our culture failed to put any emphasis on the women in the New Testament other than Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdelene. I believe things are changing to a healthy balance of all that men and women bring to the body of Christ. There are so many amazing role models for us girls in the Bible and I hope to present them in a way we can relate to 🙂

      Praying that God’s Presence is rich in your heart this Christmas so you have faith to believe in His Promises!
      ~Sherry
      xoxo

  4. Tiffiney / Welcome Home Ministry says

    Hi Sherry! I never thought about the person of Anna before. Thank you for pointing out these precious spiritual truths and helping us women of faith connect the dots as we seek to be carries of God’s promise to the masses and presence in our own lives. I was your neighbor over at Holley Gerth’s link up.

    I hope you had the best Christmas ever!
    Tiffiney

    • Sherry Stahl says

      Tiffiney,
      You weren’t the only one, so don’t feel bad. So many people had no clue who the Senior Citizen might be. Glad to have yo stop by via Holley’s Linkup. Hope your Christmas was wonderful and your New Year is FANTABULOUS 🙂
      ~Sherry Stahl
      xoxo

  5. Karen Woodall says

    Love your look at the Three Wise Women of Christmas! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights. May we be full of expectant waiting for our Savior’s promised return!

    • Sherry Stahl says

      What a great tagline…The 3 Wise Women 🙂 Love it! Thanks for stopping by Karen. Hope you come back again, full of expectation!
      ~Sherry
      xoxo

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