Anna: seeing and welcoming

An advent reflection by Luke Williams, Interim Director: World Relief Seattle A young, poor couple from Nazareth brings their first-born to the temple to present him to the Lord. This is nothing out of the ordinary, all faithful Jews do this.  But, Anna, the old widow who needs help finding her way, sees this child and knows her prayers for her people have been answered.  She knows her beloved has come.

"Arise, my love, my lovely one, come.

For you the winter is past,

the rain is over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;

the time of singing has come;

the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land."

Song of Solomon 2:10-12

Anna, who had quietly fasted and prayed in the temple for years, can't stop praising God.  She tells everyone who will listen that the redemption of Israel has come.  Lord, teach us to see like Anna, and welcome the Dawn of Righteousness, our Prince of Peace.   Eight years ago, when Cal hired me to join the World Relief Seattle team, I certainly couldn’t anticipate how my life would be changed by that decision.

I am so glad that I welcomed the opportunity. It has brought so much blessing to me and my family. I have had the incredible privilege of meeting hundreds of resilient, vibrant people like Sameer and Hanan. I get to work with a fantastic team of caring, committed staff. And, I have gotten to know a truly beautiful community of volunteers, church partners, donors and other friends who surround this ministry. I am overwhelmed with gratitude this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas to you from all of us at World Relief Seattle! May you be touched by the wonder of Christ’s coming this season.   Reflect and Pray with us during this Advent season: