Posts Tagged ‘Good News’

Anna the Prophet: An Advent Reflection

December 2, 2007

Anna’s wedding day must have been a joyous occasion, a most important day in the life of a young Jewish woman. And she almost certainly would have married as a young teenager, according to the custom of her day. It was the hope of every Jewish maiden to marry and bear children. But Anna had been chosen by God for a unique purpose. Luke tells us that she was a prophet, gifted with special wisdom and insight. Did her husband realize what a treasure God had given him?

After only seven years of marriage, Anna’s husband died. Her world was torn apart. She was only in her twenties and already a widow. Anna could have become bitter and angry at God for allowing this tragedy in her life, but instead she let her suffering draw her closer to God. Believing in God’s special purpose for her life, she devoted herself to serving him.

For many decades, Anna lived in the Temple, spending her days in fasting and prayer. She lived in a time of great political upheaval and religious corruption, yet she faithfully interceded for her people, trusting in God’s promise of a Messiah. Throughout the year, Jewish families came to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices and celebrate religious holidays. Year after year, they saw Anna serving in the Temple; she had been there as long as most people could remember and they admired her devotion.

By the time she reached eighty-four years old, Anna’s physical health had no doubt deteriorated, but her spiritual senses were keen and sharp. A lifetime of diligently seeking the Lord had made her uniquely sensitive to his leading. Anna was a woman devoted to prayer, not just talking to the Lord, but listening to his voice. Like Enoch and Elijah before her, Anna truly walked with God. That is why when a certain young couple came to the Temple to dedicate their infant son, she knew immediately that this was no ordinary child.

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Shane Claiborne Interview

May 2, 2007

A few weeks ago I did an interview for the Justice and Compassion blog with one of my favorite author/activists Shane Claiborne. Here is the write-up from my conversation with Shane.

Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Shane Claiborne. Shane is a founding member of the New Monastic community the Simple Way and author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical. While in college, Shane spent a summer in Calcutta working with Mother Teresa and in 2003, he traveled to Baghdad as part of the Iraq Peace Team.

In preparation for our telephone conversation, I had asked our blog participants to contribute questions. I read the questions to Shane and asked him to share his thoughts.

The first question was from Joe, “Ask him about making his own clothes. Yes, you heard me correctly. The guy. Makes. His own. Clothing.” Laughing, Shane explained, “I love making my clothes! My mom taught me; we sew together almost liturgically every Christmas the clothes for the next year.”

He shared that he caught the vision while living in Calcutta in a village of people with leprosy. Since they were completely cut off from the rest of society, they had to make their own clothes and shoes, grow their own food and be a fully self-sustaining community. Shane found himself mesmerized with the way of life that they had created, “a new society in the shell of the old.”
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