As unimaginable as it sounds to 21st-century ears, Anna the prophetess made a career of waiting. Widowed after her seventh anniversary, the next eight decades of her life revolved around the temple in Jerusalem. Her patient attendance there embodied the posture of her people, the nation of Israel, for they had long been waiting for a promised Messiah, waiting for the world to change, waiting for promises to be fulfilled, waiting for redemption.
Because she waited well, Anna was present in the temple on the day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus for his infant dedication to God. Everything around Jesus’s birth happened “in the fullness of time,” scripture says.
Time is “full” when the right number of minutes has passed, and the waiting heart marks every single one. Even so, I believe that joy carried Anna through eighty-four years of the silence of God.
A Celebration of Waiting
Today, in the era of instant-everything, I wonder if we forget that Advent is a celebration of waiting fulfilled. Christmas itself is the vindication of Old Testament believers who spent long, uncomfortable lives clinging to wispy words of prophecy and trusting God’s good intentions toward them. It’s the season of Mary’s “yes” to a nine-month obedience, a season of open-ended journeys prompted by visions and unexpected stars.
We also live in a world of waiting, and the only difference is that now we have the Hallmark Channel, our social media feed, and our frantic pace to distract us from our true situation, which A.W. Tozer described as “the interim time.”
We live between two mighty events—that of [Jesus’s] incarnation, death, and resurrection, and that of His ultimate appearing and the glorification of those He died to save. This is the interim time for the saints—but it is not a vacuum. He has given us much to do and He asks for our faithfulness.”
We have a choice as we wait. We can fret and forget our purpose, or we can let his joy wash over us like a baptism in slow motion.
I know what Anna would have done.
Holding you in the Light,
Between ascension and glorification, we live in what Tozer called the “interim time.” We have a choice as we wait. We can fret and forget our purpose, or we can let his joy wash over us like a baptism in slow motion.Tweet
It’s Not too Late to Begin Your Celebration of the Light this Advent Season
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