Saturday 20 January 2024

The Promise Anna The Prophetess - Anna Watkinson Barnum


My father’s name was Phanuel;
From the tribe of Asher he came.
In Hebrew, “Face of God” 
Is the meaning of his name.

I am his daughter Anna.
My name has meaning too.
The “grace” of God, and also “favour”
In my life have proven true.

I was married only 7 years.
I really wished for more!
But God had a different plan for me.
And now, I’m 84!

This temple has become a home
To this prophetess who prays,
And fasts, and worships.
Through all the nights and days.

Never have I lost the hope
That someday I would see,
The Promised One....Messiah!
Our redemption He would be.

This Roman occupation
Has been going on for years.
The oppression in our country
Can bring my soul to tears.

“My Father, we need a Saviour!
Oh hear my plea once again!
Send the Messiah soon I pray,
To deliver us from Rome...and our sin!”

Simeon, my friend, is a prophet.
(I think he’s much older than I!)
And as elders in our culture,
Regard for what we say is high.

In Israel, the firstborn son,
Is  consecrated to the Lord.
This fulfills an ancient law
That is written in the Word.

Today, as the temple routine began,
(T’was a day like any other),
I saw a little family come in...
A baby boy, with father and mother.

When I saw Simeon speaking to them,
I went close so I could hear.
As he prophesied over this family,
All became wonderfully clear!

This child of Joseph and Mary,
Presented to God today,
Is truly the long-awaited One!
“Thank You” was all I could say.

And to all who were looking forward,
To that promise made long ago,
I spoke of this child called “Jesus”.
I had to let them know!

No words can really express how it feels
To be so happy and blessed.
I am content. I am at peace.
Perhaps now I can rest.

     Anna Watkinson Barnum 2023
     First presented as part of a series of reflections during Advent. 

“And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'uel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, 37and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” 
     Luke 2:36–38 – Ignatius Study Bible

“There was a prophetess, too, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came up just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.”
     Luke 2:36–38 – NJB

My mother-in-law wrote and presented this. It was part of a senior’s event at their Pentecostal Church. The other parts were: Elizabeth, innkeeper’s wife, a shepherd and a Wiseman. Appropriate scripture will be read; the character gives a “firsthand account” of things, then a carol. When she practiced it for our family after a movie night I asked if I could poste it. So here it is I share it with you.

Anna as Anna

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