Ana & Simeon, voices; touching words
Prophets see and speak with the sight and voice of God.
They see what and how God sees. They are caretakers of vision and cannot add or take away from the vision, images, or sounds and words given to them, or even dreams.
Prophets speak; and they voice what they feel by His Spirit.
In Luke chapter 2, two prophets, Anna and Simeon, see in a beginning, a fulfilling ending.
Both have been promised by the Spirit that they would see the Messiah; both are at the end of childless long lives; both have stayed true to a promised vision; and both see the vision fulfilled.
What do they see, feel?
Redemption, and their rescue, by a new-born babe. Simeon sees and speaks first. But his words only come after he touches, holds our Saviour in his arms:
“When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord …Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout… and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit; he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’
This child’s coming dismisses the prophet in peace; and holding the child, touching him, inspires Simeon to speak. Hopeful touch inspires faithful, prophetic and fatherly words.
Anna, a prophetess, sees and feels next. She is in the temple at the same time as Simeon. They speak as one and of one redemption, a child, Jesus:
“There was also a prophetess, Anna. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
“At that very moment.”- here- at that very moment’- there is no time lag; no time for hearts to think; only a time to feel. Then Anna speaks to all; after His touch she can not stop speaking, feeling.
What does Anna see in the promise of this baby?
She sees eternal redemption, a new and full life. A childless widow honoured, blessed, with a beautiful child. A Naomi touched, redeemed.
Anna gives thanks as she speaks about a child, a saviour to everyone. Redemption is here, for all, and especially for her. Waiting exists no more.
She holds the child, dearly, with all her love, in her heart and words.
Two older servants, Anna and Simeon, faithful till the endings of their lives. What do their lives mean for them, for us?
They, and we, have had our souls “pierced” with Jesus on the cross. Why? So hearts can speak thoughts in a new way. So our voices can speak; so what pierces, can also touch, and love us with its harsh touch.
This season look for some faithful people around you. A teacher or a GP; a caregiver or a vicar; a police person or a cleaner. Pray for an opportunity to encourage them, even if it is with just a smile, for their faithfulness. Look for Annas and Simeons, the faithful.
Touch them with love, words, sight. Touch and speak.