It was just another ordinary day until …

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “How to inhabit time:
Our Bible verse for today: “There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for eighty-four years. She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers.” Luke 2:36-38 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “It was just another ordinary day until …”
Anna was an elderly widow who was also a devout godly woman. The passage in Luke 2:36-38 tells us that “She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers.” That probably means that she lived in some sort of widow’s apartment in the temple complex, and perhaps served as an aide or temple worker.
In the character profile about Anna in the Experiencing God Study Bible, the editors include this statement about her: “The greatest day in Anna’s life occurred on a seemingly ordinary day when she kept her spiritual eyes open and responded to God’s activity around her.”
What they’re referring to is found in the verses before and after the ones cited above. The scene was of Mary and Joseph presenting the baby Jesus for dedication in the temple. Anna was there to witness that, and in verse 38 we read, “At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
The point is that it was an ordinary day in Anna’s life. She was simply where she was supposed to be, doing what she was supposed to be doing. But she was alert. As she went about her daily routine there in the temple, her spiritual eyes were opened to the activity of God around her. And as a result, an ordinary day turned into the most special day of her life.
The fact is that most of life consists simply of being where you’re supposed to be and doing what you’re supposed to do. Eugene Peterson once described it as “A long obedience in the same direction.” He meant that most of life is not a mountaintop experience. Instead, it’s simply about being faithful in the small things and the ordinary routine of life. But if we do so with our spiritual eyes wide open, aware that God is with us and at work all around us, even in the ordinary and mundane, it is possible that any moment can become an extraordinary moment.
Anna was faithful. She showed up; she was where she was supposed to be; she was doing what she was supposed to be doing; and she was paying attention. May that be true of all of us today.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2023 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “It was just another ordinary day until …

  1. Amen. Our church is going through the Experiencing God study right now. I had already done it 10 or more years ago, but I wanted to do it again so my husband would do it too. I pray the Lord speaks to him through it. We need God’s help with a certain aspect of our marriage. (His children). I would appreciate the added prayers. My husband’s name is Mike. Thanks, Pastor Jim.

    1. Good morning Deb. The Experiencing God Bible study was transformational in my life as a new Christian more than thirty years ago. I’ve led multiple groups through it over the years and I’m currently using the Experiencing God Study Bible in my personal quiet time. It is very deep and insightful. I sure will pray for both of you as you study and grow together.

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