Little babies provoke people into grabbing them, even if it’s a child they don’t know. When we had our first child, I really had a tough time with the ‘grabbers.’ I was not very fond of sharing my baby! I can only imagine what Mary and Joseph were going through when Simeon takes their baby out of their arms and begins to walk around with him! Even if he was saying a blessing over the boy, this still must have been a little bit hard to swallow. If that wasn’t strange enough, a little lady in her nineties starts throwing her hands up and praising God, all the while telling everyone their child is going to ‘set them free!’ Now granted, with the angel visits and the sheepherders’ arrival, Mary and Joseph were probably not too taken aback. However, I don’t care who you are, these people were a little strange!
Take Anna, the ninety-one year old praising widow. For eighty-four years, she lived in the temple, night and day. That’s like camping out in one of the local congregations 24/7. Not only that, but she was apparently known as a prophetess, and if you know anything about the Old Testament prophets like Samuel and Elijah, you can imagine her conversations were not “light and fluffy!” All of this, coupled with the fact that her diet consisted primarily of fasting and prayer. Nonetheless, this strange woman’s story is highlighted in the best-selling book ever written. And not only that, for all of us who know that baby as Jesus, the Lord and Master of our souls, she is a witness.
This Anna brings to light one of my favorite definitions of the word “strange.” In Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “strange” can mean “foreign; belonging to another country.” So what does that tell you? Maybe all of us should “deluge” ourselves with the Master and His ways until others think we are from another planet! Seriously, stop right now and thank God for all those strange people you’ve passed off as crazy, or just a little annoying. Who knows, God may have them on a special assignment to change your life.
Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38
Biblical Meditation: Luke 2 & 1 Peter 2:9