Do you ever feel as if your life is like a roller coaster heading downhill? Everything is whizzing by so quickly that you can’t focus on anything—it’s all just a blur. The days leading up to Christmas can feel that way. Sometimes we need to slow down and refocus our gaze on God’s gracious gift.
The Bible tells us about a woman named Anna whose entire life was focused on God.
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 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.
Luke 2:36-38 (NIV)
Anna had spent most of her life in the temple, worshiping and praying. She was entirely focused on God. When Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God (see yesterday’s Advent reflection), Anna came up and gave thanks to God. Then she started talking about Jesus to everyone who shared her faith in God. She was so excited to see Jesus that she couldn’t contain herself—she just had to talk about Him!
While we may not spend our lives in such concentrated worship and prayer the way Anna did, that doesn’t mean we can’t slow down and make some time to focus on God. In fact, that’s what we’re doing as we read these Advent reflections each day. By God’s grace, as we spend time with Him, our appreciation for who He is and what He’s done will grow; and so will our desire to share His love with those around us.
Reflection and Discussion
- What are the major challenges you face in making time to focus on God?
- Have you found yourself to be more focused on the spiritual aspects of Christmas this year than in the past? If so, what has helped you to do that?
Our Heavenly Father,
We’re humbled by Anna’s example of devotion to You. We’re busy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t slow down and spend time with You. Please help us to make some time each day to focus on You. As we do, please increase our appreciation for the incredible gift You gave us at Christmas. May our hearts overflow with excitement so that we can’t help but share that gift with those around us the way Anna did.