Daily Reflection
December 30th, 2000
Tom Purcell
Accounting Department
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First John 2:12-17
Psalms 96:7-10
Luke 2:36-40

Sometimes when I reflect on scripture I place myself in the scene by trying to feel and react as one of the participants might have done. Today I tried this technique by trying to imagine what Anna must have felt.  If she kept a journal this is what I thought she might have recorded:

"Today began like any other.  I rose and made my morning offerings and ate a bit of cheese and bread and a few figs.  The figs are a little hard to eat, with so many teeth gone, but I thank God for the blessings of still being here to greet another day!

As I made my way to the temple area where I am allowed to pray I felt a strange sense of anticipation.  I have waited so long, and my faith has been sorely tested.  I believe I shall see the coming of the messiah, but my days are short, and I sometimes wonder if I will in fact be alive when he comes.  Will today be the day?

I passed Joachim, and politely bow my head in deference to his position.  He is a Pharisee.  I have tired of trying to change them.  They don't listen when I remind them of the simpleness of YHWH's message of hope.  I long for one who will show us the way.

I passed a small family who are present for the ritual cleansing of their first born son.  As I started to move on I felt as if something was grasping me, holding me to the place, and drawing me to the son.  I asked the mother if I could hold her son, and when I took him in my arms I KNEW IT WAS HE!!  My heart leapt with joy and I could hardly breathe.  My messiah had come into the world and I was holding him in my arms!  Tears came to my eyes and I held him close to my heart.  I looked deep into his mother's eyes and I knew she knew that I had sensed their secret.  After a few moments of silence, I passed her son back to her and they continued on their way.

I couldn't hide my elation.  I began to shout to all who could hear 'Let heaven and earth exult in joy!  The messiah is among us!  Rejoice and make straight the path for the Lord!'  Of course, as usual no one paid any attention to me, clucking their heads and saying to themselves, 'Poor crazy woman.  Someone really should do something about her.'  But I KNOW that HE has come.  My heart is so full.  I know I will not sleep tonight, and so I will continue to pray."

My prayer today is simple - that I might have Anna's gift of resolute, unwavering faith.
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