Looking Back Over Jesus’ Life
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child [Jesus] to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they [Jesus and his parents] had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
In the church of my childhood, the First United Presbyterian Church of Olney, Illinois, one of the saints who helped me to believe in Jesus was a woman named Mrs. Bass. Like Anna, the prophetess, Mrs. Bass was a widow. Unlike Anna, she was not ancient (although I sadly admit now that I probably viewed her as such.) And, like Anna, Mrs. Bass spent time in God’s house. I met Mrs. Bass in the church. She was my Sunday School teacher. She was also a gracious and loving Christian. I don’t remember any specific lesson she taught me about Jesus, but I do remember how kind she was. Mrs. Bass once invited Steve Moeyer (a Sunday School buddy) and me out to her house for a sleepover. What made it so special? Steve and I, just the two of us elementary school boys, got to sleep in her driveway in her camper, all alone. What an adventure.
Mrs. Bass was a dear child of God who knew how to teach about Jesus as she showed the love of Jesus in her life. We were more than willing to learn about the Lord who lived in her.
God, thank You for letting me encounter Your other children as I walk this path myself as a disciple of my Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray.