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Thanks & Giving

Anna had been a witness to much in her 84 years of life.  A devoted follower of God, with a spirit to match, made her a beautiful wife (Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.—Proverbs 31:30) for seven of her early years, but the death of her husband and the loss of her nation’s independence would cause Anna to consider what she had and what to do with it.  (Pause for Thought:  What has the Lord given you and what has the Lord taken away?  When you have been given blessings, how have you responded to God?  When given difficulty, how have you responded to the Lord?  Who has witnessed your responses?)
 
In her lifetime, Anna witnessed, or would have heard about, king and high-priest Jannaeus’ contempt for Israel’s religious leaders, and his defilement of the sacrifice during the Feast of Tabernacles resulting in the slaughter of 6,000 Jews in the temple courtyard and a civil war that would last decades.
 

Anna saw the end of the civil war as Roman general, Pompey, would massacre 12,000 of her countryman and desecrate the Holy of Holies at the temple in Jerusalem, leading to Judea’s rule by Rome.  This was happening all the while Anna remained at the temple worshiping and praising God for the promised Messiah.  (Pause for Thought:  “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”—I Thessalonians 5:16-17.  What promises are you giving God thanks for this week?  How can the giving of your time, talent, resources—self, be a fulfillment of these promises?  How is your family helping God’s fulfillment of these promises in others?)

Anna’s proximity to tragedy never impaired her devotion to God or her faith in Him—“she never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them (Mary & Joseph), she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child (Jesus) to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Israel.”  Her thankfulness led to and was a service of instruction and realization for others in recognizing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (Pause for Thought:  Read the story of Simeon and Anna in Luke 2:21-38.  How well does your family live out their thankfulness?  How will you use this Thanksgiving to instruct your children about thankfulness and giving?)
 
Anna had been a witness to much in her 84 years of life.  A devoted follower of God, with a spirit to match, made her a beautiful wife (Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.—Proverbs 31:30) for seven of her early years, but the death of her husband and the loss of her nation’s independence would cause Anna to consider what she had and what to do with it.  (Pause for Thought:  What has the Lord given you and what has the Lord taken away?  When you have been given blessings, how have you responded to God?  When given difficulty, how have you responded to the Lord?  Who has witnessed your responses?)
 

In her lifetime, Anna witnessed, or would have heard about, king and high-priest Jannaeus’ contempt for Israel’s religious leaders, and his defilement of the sacrifice during the Feast of Tabernacles resulting in the slaughter of 6,000 Jews in the temple courtyard and a civil war that would last decades.

Anna saw the end of the civil war as Roman general, Pompey, would massacre 12,000 of her countryman and desecrate the Holy of Holies at the temple in Jerusalem, leading to Judea’s rule by Rome.  This was happening all the while Anna remained at the temple worshiping and praising God for the promised Messiah.  (Pause for Thought:  “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”—I Thessalonians 5:16-17.  What promises are you giving God thanks for this week?  How can the giving of your time, talent, resources—self, be a fulfillment of these promises?  How is your family helping God’s fulfillment of these promises in others?)
 

Anna’s proximity to tragedy never impaired her devotion to God or her faith in Him—“she never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them (Mary & Joseph), she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child (Jesus) to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Israel.”  Her thankfulness led to and was a service of instruction and realization for others in recognizing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (Pause for Thought:  Read the story of Simeon and Anna in Luke 2:21-38.  How well does your family live out their thankfulness?  How will you use this Thanksgiving to instruct your children about thankfulness and giving?)