36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38 New Living Translation
Originally, I meant to entitle this, “The Privilege of Aging.” God made me realize that this is for anyone living according to the call placed on her or his’ life by God. Let us look at Anna, because the text tells us she is at least eighty-four. We know that she is a prophet that means that God was still speaking truth to God’s people through her. At eighty-four, she still has the right attitude towards her job and God given gift. The text tells us when she wakes up in the morning she is at the temple “worshipping God with fasting and prayer. The text tells us she never left the temple.” I know some of you are saying, “I can’t be at the temple day and night like prophetess Anna. We can because I Corinthians 3:16 (NRSV), tells us that “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” and Romans 12:1-2 (NRSV), tells us, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Scripture tells us that our bodies are temples because Holy Spirit indwells within us. I know if prophetess Anna was here today, she would know that her body is a temple. She would still be on the job with the right attitude telling people about God.
Let us look at another aspect of her life. She had been married. Her husband died only after seven years of marriage. We are not told when she got married, but we are told that she never remarried. Prophetess Anna did not let an unfortunate event stop her from allowing God to use her even at eighty-four or even at twenty-four, or thirty-four, or whatever age her husband died.
Let us go back to the text. This scene is a continuation from verse 21. If you remember, Mary and Joseph brought the eight-day old Jesus in the temple to be circumcised. Another righteous and devout Jewish man was in the temple also. His name was Simeon. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. When Simeon saw Mary, Joseph and Jesus, he took Jesus in his arms, praised God and prophesized about Jesus and what Jesus would do and become: salvation for everyone. Afterwards, Simeon tells God he can now die in peace. Anna walks right up to them and starts praising God. Anna doesn’t follow protocol, but instead she peacefully disrupts. She tells everyone in the temple that is interested that the one they were looking for to redeem Jerusalem was right there, the child, the man, our God whom we call Jesus. She could do this because she was always at her job even though she was eighty-four. That is the privilege of living on purpose to allow God to use you at all times in your words and deeds.
I think that we should remember that Jesus always spoke truth to power. Jesus was always a peaceful disrupter. Jesus was always accused of not following protocol. We can all do this no matter our age. We don’t retire from God. God is looking for people today to be peaceful disrupters. Show me Lord God today, what is the call on my life?
 This term describing Jesus came from Professor Walter Wilson at Candler School of Theology, Emory University.