On a busy day before Christmas, an aged woman approached the mail counter at my crowded neighborhood post office. Watching her slow pace, the patient postal clerk greeted her, “Well hello, young lady!” His words were friendly, but some might hear them saying that “younger” is better.
In the Christmas season, however, the Bible inspires us to see that advanced age can motivate our hope. As the infant Jesus is brought to the temple by Joseph and Mary, to be consecrated, two elderly believers suddenly take center stage in the holy story (Luke 2:23; Exodus 13:2, 12).
First, Simeon—who had been waiting for years to see the Messiah—“took [Jesus] in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations’” (Luke 2:28–30).
Then Anna, a “very old” prophet (v. 36), came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph. A widow who had been married only seven years, she’d lived in the temple to age eighty-four. Never leaving, she “worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” When she saw Jesus, she began praising God, explaining about Jesus “to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (vv. 37–38).
These two hopeful servants remind us to never stop waiting on God—no matter our age — with great expectations.