Daily Thought for: 12th September

SIMEON AND ANNA

Luke 2. 25-38

How little, and yet how much, has been recorded of this delightful couple. Did they often confer and commune together as they awaited the coming of the Messiah? Surely they remind us of that prophecy, ‘They that feared the Lord spake often one to another’, Mal. 3. 16. They were a godly remnant indeed, looking for the Redeemer while the nation at large did not seem to care. 

We speak of ‘old Simeon’! Perhaps he was old. Scripture does not say so, but he talked of dying and he may well have been ‘old Simeon’. He was a pious man, just and devout, and spiritual. It was by the Holy Spirit that he came into the temple just when the child Jesus was carried in by His parents. It is a lovely scene. The holy Infant is in Simeon’s arms. Simeon will bless God and then bless them. The man who speaks well of God will speak well of God’s people. He can depart in peace now, he says, for he has seen the Lord’s Christ, the consolation for which he has waited. 

Notice how Simeon sees beyond Israel; saying first of all, ‘A light to lighten the Gentiles’, only then adding, ‘and the glory of thy people Israel’. But he predicts not only glory, but suffering too—a pierced heart for Mary. 

It is at that instant that the aged Anna enters. She was of a great age indeed. She had been a widow for eighty-four years, having been married for only seven years when her husband died. It was then ninety-one years since her wedding day, and if married in her teens she could then have been perhaps one hundred and ten years old. 

But the sorrows of life had not embittered her. Her name means ‘gracious’. She was of the tribe of Asher, which means ‘happy’. She was the daughter of one Phanuel, which, like Peniel, means ‘The face of God’. A gracious, happy lady, who enjoyed the smile of heaven and who was constantly in the temple, serving God with fastings and prayers night and day. She joins in the thanksgiving that the Redeemer had come. 

Simeon, Anna, Joseph, and Mary, but the central figure in the scene is the Child. Simeon speaks to God about Him. Anna speaks to others about Him. Together they worship and witness, leaving us a godly example. 

 

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