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Friday, December 28, 2007

Train engine
Steam engine at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
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"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 2:38).

Yesterday we gathered with our Amish friends, Jesse and Anna Ruth, for a meal and a visit they arranged for us to see the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania near their home in Strasburg.  Although they don't use the internet they are interested in our writing ministry and we often take over printed copies of our messages for them. They're quite knowledgeable about the Bible and read it together as a family each night. I quizzed them concerning my current topic of examining the two elderly people who came on the scene at Christ's consecration in the temple recorded in Luke 2:21-38.  They recognized who I was writing of (Simeon and Anna) and, as you might have already guessed, Anna is named after one of them!

This Anna (the only Anna recorded in Scripture) was the second of the faithful believers who, like Simeon, encountered the infant Messiah at the time of His consecration in the temple.  She was an old widow prophetess who "never left the temple, but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying."  She must have been an interesting person!  Somehow when I read this description I form a mental image of her as a rather eccentric, perhaps charismatic type, and I have learned to appreciate the contribution this type of believer makes to the Body of Christ.

She, like Simeon, first "gave thanks to God" as she encountered the holy family.  Apparently she was in such rich communion with God that she knew this was no ordinary family or baby. She also may have witnessed the exchange that had just taken place with Simeon that is recorded in the previous portion of Scripture. She then "spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem."  The content of her words are not recorded for us, but I sense they surely related to our Lord's redemptive work. 

Today let us also thank God for the gift of His Son and let us also faithfully speak "about the child" who became the Savior of the world. As we focus on the wonder of the Christmas story, remember, this Baby was born to die for our sins. Let us recognize the full redemptive scope of the mission of the baby that Anna encountered and wholeheartedly worship and serve Him today.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, we read of Simeon and Anna who praised You in the temple for the blessings of the Christ Child. We also praise You in the House of the Lord and in heaven and earth for the past, present and future blessings that we enjoy through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is our Peace who has broken down every wall and someday we'll thoroughly enjoy the future setting of the lion laying down right beside the lamb because of Christ's redemptive power.  We'll also see every tribe and tongue united under one Leader and we will know and thoroughly enjoy the full scope of Christ's redemption.  In Your time, Lord, in Your time You will bring these marvelous blessings to pass but even now we thank You for the countless blessings we enjoy at the present.

Today's Scripture portion concerning Anna in full context.

Pennsylvania Railroad Museum
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania  This is a great museum for those (like me) who like trains and railroads. The exhibits are actual restored engines and railroad cars. The main display area is huge and I would estimate that the above photo only shows about 1/3 of it. The museum is right across the road from the Strasburg railroad. Listen

Family farm sign
Jesse and Anna Ruth are truly family farmers. Yesterday before we shared a meal together I helped him get the cows in from the pasture and into their stalls. Jesse's always happy to enlist me for a little extra help whenever I stop by for a visit!

Family farm sign

I always enjoy examining the lifestock when I visit Jesse's place and this newborn calf was pleased to have a photo taken for the first time!

Today's Suggested Music

"Christ Is Come"  (Audio)

"I Surrender All"  (Instrumental Audio)

"Press On"  (Video)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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