If you don't remember Anna, I'm not surprised. She is mentioned in just three verses of the Bible, yet the lessons we can learn from her are profound.
She was part of a faithful remnant
At the time of Christ, the religious leaders were, well, not good leaders. They were far more interested in their own self-righteousness than being godly They made themselves look good by following multitudes of rules that they had added to God's law. Despite the leadership, there were still some in Israel who truly wanted to be godly and were waiting for their Messiah. Anna was one of those. She didn't allow herself to be dissuaded by the pseudo-righteousness of the leaders, but sought to know what God truly wanted. When Jesus was born, she was thrilled to hear the Messiah had finally come. And she got to meet him before she died!
She sacrificed of herself
Imagine spending ALL of your time worshiping God. She never left the temple-- she continuously prayed and fasted. She was completely devoted to God. Not everyone would be able to live that kind of life, but she could. Anna was quite young when she was widowed, so she would have been encouraged to marry again. Anna decides to remain single though and devotes her life to the Lord.
She didn't make excuses
Being a widow in those times was difficult. She was most likely very poor. She was also very old. Those things didn't stop her. She wasn't worried about herself, about what she would eat or what she would wear. God would provide. She only knew that she had to serve God with everything.
She spread the Good News
After Anna saw Jesus, it says that she told everyone she could that the Messiah had been born. She didn't let fear of the religious leaders stop her. She wasn't discouraged by the lack of faith in others. She only knew that she had seen the Messiah and she had to spread the Good News!
If only we could be as devoted and faithful as dear Anna!