‘Rather than trying to untangle what they were looking for, let’s focus on the act of looking.’
After the main nativity story, Luke’s gospel gives a little coda to the events. Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to do their religious duty. There, they meet two slightly odd characters: Simeon, a man who has been led to wait for Jesus (rather like other characters in Luke’s narrative, who sense the coming of this important child), and Anna, a devout woman whom Luke seems to position as an early evangelist. In fact, when she meets the baby Jesus she does two things: praises God, and tells other people about him. Looking backwards, she seems very similar to Hannah, who took her son Samuel to the temple to serve God (see 1 Samuel). Looking forwards, she seems to be taking on the same role as the gospel writer, who also has the job of praising God by telling other people about Jesus.
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