Christmas in July

Eunice Vignette

As usual, around two in the afternoon, Eunice took a seat in the sunroom. She called it her garden of prayer. An enclosed glass-walled patio overflowing with flowers, herbs and philodendrons in clay pots, surrounded on the outside with evergreen shrubs. Sunlight filtering through an overarching, oak tree branch kept the sunroom cooler.

A hot, sunny day in mid-July, called for iced sun-tea instead of the usual hot tea. So while sipping tea and nibbling on oatmeal cookies she read from the Bible, Luke chapter two and stopped after reading about Anna, a prophetess in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ birth. She continued thinking about Anna until the usual hour slipped away and became almost two hours. Just one paragraph about Anna, but it said so much about her love for God and the Messiah.

Anna had become a widow without children at a young age and instead of remarriage she became devoted to God, praying and fasting in the Temple. Luke writes that she never left the temple, but worshiped God in prayer and fasting, night and day until age eighty-four.

Luke tells how Anna happened to walk by just as the prophet Simeon was speaking with Joseph and Mary about their newborn son, Jesus, who had been presented at the Temple and dedicated to the Lord with an offering as required by the Law of Moses. Anna, as well as many others in Jerusalem had been praying for the Messiah to come and rescue them. Therefore, when she overheard Simeon praising and thanking God for sending Salvation, Anna stopped and praised God too. Finally! Yeshua, the Messiah had come as God had promised!

 “For he will save his people from their sin.”

What a joyous reward for all the days, months, years, of prayer to the Father, for The Deliverer to come.  

Not only did Anna give God praise for answered prayer, she also went about telling the good news to everyone who had been looking for deliverence, those who had been praying along with her. She proclaimed Salvation had come, just as the prophets foretold.

Eunice kneeled to pray, cushioning her knees with a pillow from the sofa.

Lord, please forgive me for all the time I’ve wasted in selfish living…help me to be about your business…teach me to pray, your kingdom come…hasten the work of your church to completion…in your name Lord Jesus…by your Spirit…may I be worthy…worthy of at least one sentence…perhaps even a paragraph, in your book of remembrance.

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