God called Simeon (an old man) and Anna (an 84 year old woman), to keep an eye out for his Messiah. Simeon and Anna were not only Jewish people looking for God’s Messiah, lots of people were. They however, were only one's who had worked out the right place to look.
I suspect that the priests were busily looking for God’s Messiah amongst their fellow priests, the rabbis looking among the rabbis, and the politicians looking among their political colleagues. Anna and Simeon knew better.
Having been nudged by God’s spirit to visit the Temple, Simeon spotted a poor, young couple and a tiny baby. He quickly took a closer look. Could this be what he had been looking for all those years?
If you want to see what God is doing in the world, you have to tune into God’s wavelength. Simeon and Anna were not looking among the rich and powerful, nor were they looking among those who were steeped in religion and highly educated. They saw a young couple, carrying a 6 week old baby, and four pigeons for a sacrifice. And they knew they were on the right track. The pigeons identified Mary and Joseph as being poor (families of comfortable means were required to bring a lamb). Knowing that God has a special love for those who are weak and disadvantaged, Simeon knew this was God’s kind of family. He stepped forwards, greeted Mary and Joseph, and delivered the message that he had been waiting to pass on. Anna was on the lookout too, she realised what Simeon was doing, and told the people around her that God’s Messiah had finally arrived.
One of the most common callings that any of us will receive from God is the calling to look out for what God is doing, and bring people’s attention to it. It is a calling that can come to anyone of us at any time. If we’re going to be any good at it, we need to be looking in the right place.
the life and loves of a disciple of Jesus
by Robert Harrison