The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple
February 2, 2020
First Reading: Malachi 3:1-4
Psalm 84 or 84: 1-6
Second Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18
Gospel: Luke 2:22-44
My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation
As the Christmas season is ending and on the Feast of the Presentation, also marks the end of the Epiphany season. ….
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, is to officially, to induct him into Judaism, and that is celebrated by many Christian Churches with the Candlemas…like we had this morning.
I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to the temple.
Gospel: Luke 2:22-44
Following the Commands of God
The Holy Family has come to Jerusalem, the big city of many people. The law says, that the first male is sacred. Jesus is to be presented in the Temple, an important tradition in Judaism. Mary has given birth 40 days ago and she has to wait to go to the temple for purification.
I close my eyes and imagine the sights, the smells, the sounds of Jerusalem. They are selling and trading goods, the markets are busy! As this family moves through the city… do you think there is just…Maybe…. a little excitement on their part, because they know their son is special and they want to follow what God’s Word has commanded them to do, they bring the Child to be presented in the Temple, in obedience to the Torah.
I think of it today… when a family is preparing their child for baptism or their first communion. How excited the entire family would be.
Along the way, they need to pick up a couple of turtledoves or two young pigeons, as an offer of a sacrifice, according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, and the turtledoves or young pigeons are all they could afford.
In the temple, we have two prophets……. waiting patiently for the Israel’s people to be restored and looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
As they enter Jerusalem, there is a very old man there, name Simeon. The scriptures tell us, this man was righteous and devout, and he is looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit…rest on him.
The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah and The Holy Spirit led this righteous man, to the temple; where he waited years.
Also, in the temple is Anna, she is very old herself, and for years she has never left the temple, she worshiped there fasting and praying night and day. The Holy Family is met by Simeon first, who see’s them
“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; “for my eyes have seen your salvation” which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people of Israel.”
Simeon has been promised that he will see the Messiah, the Christ, whose name means salvation and promise. He has waited decades with hope and trust and the fulfillment of God’s promise. I don’t think it was because he could finely die and be set free to go in peace, but the promise of salvation for all God’s people.
Anna, at the moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
The Holy Family is faithful to the Law of Moses.
And…the two prophets, devoted and dedicated to God’s promise.
In our ancient biblical days having occurred a long time ago, they wanted and waited for the messenger of God to come into the temple.
They waited for years, decades and when you go by biblical years maybe centuries.
We can’t wait 10 minutes in lines at the store or bank. We want fast food, faster service, faster internet…. can you imagine if we had to wait, so “our” world and lives could be restored?
The New Year is well on its way. We are looking to the promises of God to bless us with a new and healthy new year because we have a loving heavenly Father who wants only good things for us, and a Lord and Savior who is with us in our good times and in bad times too.
Today, right now, we have received Jesus in the Temple of our “hearts”. He dwells within each of us, we give thanks today that we have our salvation, because God allowed Jesus into our lives.
We do not have to wait for Jesus to come…but we have to show up!
“In order for our eyes to see our salvation”, given to us!
Rev. Lola Culbreath