“[Anna] did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour, she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:37-38).
From what we can tell in Scripture, Joseph and Mary kept the birth of Jesus quiet. So who knew? Some shepherds. Probably the innkeeper (although we have no indication that he knew who this Baby was). Some wise men, and when they asked King Herod about the One born “king of the Jews,” then Herod knew (and became jealous, deceitful, and eventually, outraged and murderous - Matt. 2:1-16).
Before Herod’s death threats and their subsequent escape to Egypt, however, Luke tells us that Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to God and offer a sacrifice, in accordance with Jewish Law (Luke 2:22-24). At the temple in Jerusalem, they encountered Simeon, who held Jesus and proclaimed a blessing.
The next person to know was the widow Anna, who was “advanced in years.” How did she respond at seeing Jesus? Scripture is clear: she gave thanks to God and spoke about the Child to all who were waiting.
We could take a lesson from Anna. In this holy season, perhaps we, too, could give thanks to God and speak about Jesus to all. People all around us are waiting. Waiting to find hope. Waiting for peace. Waiting to find love – real, unconditional, sacrificial love. Jesus brought a gospel of grace for all mankind. God is “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Let’s give thanks and speak, today.