Faith Daily | 2 February 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany Four
you have taught us
that all our doings without love are worth nothing:
send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you;
grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake.
Amen APBA p533
Presentation of Christ in the Temple
Christ our cornerstone,
you were recognised at your presentation in the temple
as a sign of hope for the world,
but also as a stumbling-block for many:
help us so to present ourselves for your service,
that, in sharing your scandal,
we may become a people acceptable to you.
In your name we pray.
Amen APBA P609
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 2:22-40
22 And when the time care for their purification according to teh law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 30for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” 33And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. 39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Alan Dann
It is not too long ago that instructions in the Anglican Church that after childbirth a woman was to present herself to the Priest at a place nominated by the Bishop to “give hearty thanks” and offer “accustomed offerings” for the birth. There are also many modern Jewish traditions that stem from the ancient presentation story.
What does this passage from Luke say to us – well I think it says simply; Thankyou God.
Jesus was born into a devout Jewish family full of ancient traditions. One tradition was to bring the firstborn male child to the temple and to offer sacrifice in thanks. The prescribed sacrifices were geared to social status and for Joseph and Mary that sacrifice was two doves or pigeons the gift prescribed for the poorest.
Simeon, an old man, knows that this child is extraordinary. He has some greater wisdom. He asserts that he has seen not just a baby but The Christ Child. But he has also vision of what was to come; “Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
He leaves us with the Words that have become the Song of Simeon:
“Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled
My own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.”
Thanks be to God
FINAL PRAYER: APBA p.477
whose Son Jesus was presented in the temple
and was acclaimed the glory of Israel and the
light of the nations:
grant that in him we may be presented to you
and in the world may reflect his glory;
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.