And coming in that instant [Anna] gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Hachiko was the Akita-dog pet of a Japanese professor. Every day, when the professor returned home from work, Hachiko would meet his master at the train station. One day, the professor died at his job and did not return to the station. For the next nine years, until he died, Hachiko sat at the station waiting for his master to return. By his actions, the professor had “promised” Hachiko that he would come. Years didn’t matter; Hachiko waited faithfully. [ If you haven’t watched the movie, you have to; Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (The movie, a tearjerker) and on wikipedia]
That’s how some in Israel waited for the birth of the promised Messiah. Like Anna, a widowed prophetess who, well into her eighties, spent all her waking hours in the Temple worshiping and waiting for the Messiah to appear. When Mary and Joseph presented Jesus, their first born, to God at the temple, Anna recognized Him immediately. She knew God’s promise had been fulfilled; the King of Israel had appeared. God had kept His promise to His people.
The birth of Jesus is proof once again that God is a promise-keeper. Let Christmas remind you never to give up on God’s promises.