Presentation of Christ in the Temple – Luke 2:22-40
In our team churches this Sunday we celebrate the end of the Christmas and Epiphany season with a story that recounts Jesus being taken up to the temple in Jerusalem 40 days after his birth.
Mary and Joseph presented their new born son to God with the required sacrifice as was customary under the law. We meet two people in the temple who have been waiting for the Messiah. Simeon and Anna are mature in age and faith. They are filled with the Holy Spirit. They recognise Jesus as the fulfilment of God’s promise to save Israel and also to save the world.
“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 Israel.” Luke 3:30-32
The story is a celebration of God’s faithfulness and the power of the incarnation. It celebrates mature faith and mature wisdom which we see in our congregations too. What has God done in your life that reminds you that he is faithful? What does Jesus mean to you?
The words that Simeon uses to praise God are often sung or said as the Nunc Dimittis. Find your favourite Nunc Dimittis and listen to it today. Here are couple of interesting versions:
Lord, you fulfilled the hope of Simeon and Anna,
who lived to welcome the Messiah:
may we, who have received these gifts beyond words,
prepare to meet Christ Jesus when he comes
to bring us to eternal life;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen
– From the Church of England’s Epiphany Page.