Rembrandt, Presentation in the Temple
Although this Sunday is the fourth one after the Epiphany, it happens also to be February 2, the day the Church observes a lesser festival called Presentation of Our Lord. The appointed gospel reading is Luke 2:22-40. As I was making preparations, I came across the following explanation.
Forty days after the birth of Christ we mark the day Mary and Joseph presented him in the temple in accordance with Jewish law. There a prophetess named Anna began to speak of the redemption of Israel when she saw the young child. Simeon also greeted Mary and Joseph. He responded to the presence of the consolation of Israel in this child with the words of the Nunc dimittis. His song described Jesus as a "light for the nations."
Because of the link between Jesus as the light for the nations, and because an old reading for this festival contains a line from the prophet Zephaniah, "I will search Jerusalem with candles," the day is also known as Candlemas, a day when candles are blessed for the coming year.
Presentation of our Lord
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Prayer of the Day
Almighty and ever-living God, your only-begotten Son was presented this day in the temple. May we be presented to you with clean and pure hearts by the same Jesus Christ, our great high priest, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
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There will be an informational session immediately following worship this Sunday for the purpose of group discernment and visioning for our future journey together as God's people in this community. A review of the topics covered at the Leadership Retreat will be included along with opportunity to share where you have seen God's work being done recently. What is God calling us to be about in the years ahead?