On January 1, I announced a new blog series here at Joy Woven Deep. If you haven’t seen that post yet, I encourage you to check it out, then come on back and join in the journey.
Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ
(Also known as Candlemas)
What day does it fall on? February 2 (40 days after Christmas)
What season are we in? Epiphany/Ordinary Time (January 6 to February 9, 2016)
What’s this day all about?
The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ celebrates the day that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple in order to present Him to God according to the Mosaic Law. This account is recorded in Luke 2:22-40. In short, Mary and Joseph would have offered a sacrifice, and Mary would have undergone the purification ritual required after childbirth.
In the midst of their ceremonial proceedings, Mary and Joseph are interrupted by a man named Simeon whom the Holy Spirit had assured that he would meet the Messiah before his death. Simeon approaches Mary and Joseph and, among other things, tells them that Jesus will be a “light of revelation to the Gentiles.” Mary and Joseph are then approached by Anna, a prophetess, who gives thanks for Jesus and speaks about him “to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Read the Lectionary texts.
Pray “the Collect” for The Presentation.
Because Simeon proclaimed Jesus to be a “light of revelation,” candles and fire are common symbols of The Presentation. Light a candle in each room of your house while listening to Luke 2:22-40, or light a fire in your fireplace or fire pit and read Luke 2:22-40 by the fire.
In Mexico, The Presentation/Candlemas is often celebrated by preparing and eating tamales, a dish that takes a significant amount of time to prepare. Consider carving out time to engage a slow, meaningful, out-of-the-ordinary process, drawing a parallel to the sacred presentation day.
Take 15 minutes to jot down the 10 most precious things/relationships in your life. Ask the Spirit to guide you in considering how you can more fully present those loves to Him, entrusting them to Him entirely.
For parents: have you communally dedicated your children to the Lord with your church family? If not, consider speaking with a pastor, elder or bishop who can explain that process to you in the context of your congregation, and consider mirroring the faithfulness of Mary and Joseph by taking that step.
– Discuss lights! What do they do for us? What are different types (candle, flashlight, lamp, lighthouse), and what purposes do they serve? How is Jesus our light?
– Learn John 8:12 by listening to The Light of the World (Seeds Family Worship) together.
– Coloring page
What’s it to me?
I am struck by Mary and Joseph’s faithfulness to the Mosaic Law, despite the absolutely bizarre circumstances in which they found themselves. A child born to a virgin, visions of angels, birth in a stable, yet Mary and Joseph remain steadfast in their posture of obedience to God. I am challenged to the core by their faithfulness. Even during their time at the temple, they are reminded that their Son was not given to them to be the fulfillment of all of their parental hopes and dreams, but to be the “one appointed for the rise and fall of many,” that a “sword will pierce” through their very souls as their Son’s life unfolds. Mary and Joseph call me toward a deeper faithfulness, an opening of hands in which I present to the Lord that which I am tempted to hold tightly. Simeon and Anna beckon me to look for Jesus, to trust that because God said He will come, He will come.
So, boil it down for me, would you?
The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ celebrates the 40th day after Christ’s birth in which he was brought to the temple in accordance with Mosaic Law. During the ceremony, Simeon and Anna approach Mary and Joseph, in recognition of the Christ-child and certainty that He will be the One to deliver Israel.
I would love for you to join the conversation. Would you add your voice to the conversation via blog post comments or on my Facebook page and share your thoughts on these questions with us?
What are your ideas for observing The Presentation?
Which components of exploring liturgy and the Christian calendar are you thinking about this week?
Is this series serving you well? What are you enjoying? How could it improve?
From Him | Through Him | To Him,