FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

February 2, 2018

Malachi 3: 1-4

 

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

 

For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

 

 

Psalm 24: 7-10

 

Lift up your heads, O gates!

    and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

    that the King of glory may come in.

Who is the King of glory?

    The Lord, strong and mighty,

    the Lord, mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O gates!

    and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

    that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

    The Lord of hosts,

    he is the King of glory.

 

 

Hebrews 2: 14-18

 

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

 

 

Luke 2: 22-40

 

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

 

Now 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. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided 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, 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 Israel.”

 

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then 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 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

 

There 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, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At 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.

 

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

(NRSVCE)

 

 

Meditation

 

“Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.” When we are sick or in trouble or pain of some kind, it’s a normal human reaction to reach out for help. When we are disturbed we want to talk to someone who understands our struggles and can encourage us through them. Most people know the pain of disappointment when they are suffering, call out for help from someone, and that person responds without empathy or care. When we are in need, we want someone who can relate and give us wisdom to overcome or withstand our trial. This is exactly what Jesus does. Our Lord did not stay far from us keeping a height that would relieve Him of the ability to empathize with our pain. Rather, Jesus came and became one of us. He purposefully endured all of man’s agony so that when we suffer the effects of sin, whether by our own deeds or someone else’s, He is there to give us strength and guidance to make it through.

 

This King of glory, is the king of empathy. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice we know that He will always understand our burdens and our sins. We don’t need to be hesitant to let him know our sorrows or approach Him with our sin, because He already experienced it on the cross. Today, remember that Jesus understands your needs whether they be great or small. He will not condemn your most hideous sins, or think you are overly sensitive if you have a slight head cold. Come to Jesus today with your needs and He will nurture you, aid you, and give you peace, healing, and deliverance.

 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, Lord today I am in need. I am suffering and being tested and I need your strength. Please help me see where you endured the same sort of trial and give me wisdom and grace to endure. I love you Lord, my strength. 

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