As we all are confronted with a clock that never stops ticking, we become painfully aware that we are aging. While some folks may prefer to flat out deny that aging process, I would rather ponder those things that actually improve the longer they have been around, like Grandma’s old cast iron skillet, or an aged piece of beef that has been tenderized by the break down of its enzymes. The fermentation of balsamic vinegar becomes stronger over time, with some companies waiting to bottle the final product for twelve years. Fine leather becomes smoother and softer with age, and through the passage of time pickles tend to soak up more nutrients and vitamins, increasing their probiotic value. And who hasn’t enjoyed the taste of a sharp, flavor-filled, well-aged hunk of cheddar cheese?
Likewise, we also can improve with age, especially in regards to our allegiance to our God. Allegiance, the act of binding yourself intellectually or emotionally to a course of action; a commitment; loyalty; dedication; all exemplified in the three verses summarizing the life of Anna, a woman “of great age” we meet while reading the Christmas story. We learn that she is “a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser” Let’s delve into some revealing word meanings in that short description: Anna’s name is interpreted grace, Phanuel, the face of God, and she was a prophetess, a spokesman; Anna certainly lived up to her name, for was a graceful woman who was a faithful spokesman for the face of Jehovah. And her allegiance to her God is evidenced in the few short verses God shares with us.
When we meet Anna, she is already an elderly woman, “fourscore and four years,” 84. She spent seven years of her life as a wife, but most of her days were lived as a widow. We don’t know the cause of her husband’s untimely death, but suffice it to say, she had experienced deep grief and loneliness. But Anna did not allow that tragic event to define her life, for she spent the remainder of her days serving God, departing “not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” Her heart was a serving, devoted one, passionate even in her sunset years. She was among the first to recognize the Christ child as the promised Messiah, and when her eyes lit upon that Baby in the temple, “in that instant (she) gave thanks,” and she immediately shared with all who would listen the glorious news that “redemption in Jerusalem” had arrived.
Oh, that my life would mirror that of this vibrant, praying, devoted woman. May God grant me the energy and enthusiasm, even in advanced years, to point others to the redeeming love of our Savior. A is for Anna; A is for Allegiance. May our allegiance and devotion to Him improve with age as we dedicate ourselves to serving Him.
Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
Lord, may my life be a display of allegiance to You. May I always be faithful to point those who follow me to the love of the Father. Keep me vibrant in my devotion to You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2105-6393ed50c72c2' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2105&origin=wp.blog.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2105-6393ed50c72c2' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2105-6393ed50c72c2' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>