Joachim and Anna

Joachim and Anna

One of the things that (I guess) is challenging for me, as a parent, is the lack of information about the parents of so many Biblical characters. Often times we know the names associated with them, like Amram and Moses, Nun and Joshua, Manoah and Sampson, Ramathaim and Samuel, Kish and Saul, Jesse and David, etc., etc., etc. We know the exploits of the one who is focused on in Biblical literature but we know little of the investment that was made in the person to prepare them for the work God called them to. So today, I would like to think about the parents of Mary, Jesus’ mother and often referred to as “the mother of God” by Easter Orthodox and Catholics who comprise a large portion of Christianity today.

According to the Protoevangelium of James (written in 150 AD) Joachim and Anna were a wealthy couple who were infertile for many years. This was also true of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. The infertility issue, it seems, existed within their family. What is unique is that at this early writing, many of the “embellishments” had not begun to occur as it did in later translations or documents, so when we see that an Angel announced Mary’s birth to Joachim and Anna it is not that hard to believe. With this announcement her parents consecrated her to the Lord and took her to live and serve in the temple at Jerusalem in the same way Hannah took Samuel to minister (1 Samuel 1:24 – 28) to the Lord. This pattern is not unusual as we see it not just in Mary and Samuel, but with others like John the Baptist who many feel spent most of his growth and formative years with the Essenes.

With a family as deeply committed to God as hers we can see how her decision making, patience to practice prayer, devotion to the laws of faith, steadiness at the moments of crisis she faced and her devotion to her family were part of the reason God chose her for the role she was assigned. She truly had the eternal in mind with her commitment through what had to be one of the most abusive and abrasive pregnancies of all times. Many extra biblical writings indicate that there were multiple efforts by synagogue leaders to have her stoned to death. It had to be God and Him alone who protected her and preserved His Son through these trying times.

Joachim and Anna represent this entire quiet group of people through the generations who faithfully performed their duties to God and their families. That faithfulness and commitment of practicing their faith established an atmosphere for their coming of leaders now remembered in God’s word to us. What I want you to consider today is the fact that YOU may be one of those quiet, unknown, unheralded people God wants to use to prepare His next “Hero.” YOU may be the parent of someone that God has chosen to stand out in His Kingdom in the days ahead. Just remember, the Bible is for us, here and now. There will be new stories and new families discussed once we enter the kingdom – some whose stories may even surpass the ones that still instill awe in our minds.

I say this as a reminder to us all, not just because Ax and Elaina have now confirmed the birth of their son in the months ahead, but because each of us have an obligation to the next generation. We must teach them what they need to know. We must help them understand how to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice. We must help them know, beyond a doubt that there is a Living God who wants us to experience joy if we will just be who He created us to be. Pray for them fervently and love them that deeply. Love them by being willing to be stand quietly in the background to support them and their generation. Blood kids or spiritual kids – doesn’t matter really, does it?

Love Dad

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