Weekly Update – 28th January

On Sunday we will be celebrating Candlemas, which is the end of the season of Epiphany. Candlemas is actually next Friday but we are celebrating it through our worship this Sunday.  Candlemas is a celebration of the events in we hear in Luke’s Gospel 2.22-40.   Mary and Joseph go to the Temple in Jerusalem for the presentation of Jesus to God, as required by Jewish Law.  At the Temple they meet a man named Simeon, who immediately sees Jesus as the ‘light’ for all the people of the world, long promised by prophets.  Simeon is an elderly man.  He has been faithfully waiting for this moment throughout his life and he now expresses his joy in seeing Jesus – the Messiah.  Mary and Joseph also meet an elderly woman, Anna, who also recognises Jesus as the one who will bring about God’s plan of salvation for all people and she gives praise.

During Epiphany our focus has been on events where something of the nature of Jesus is revealed to us.  In this final story about Jesus as a baby in the Bible, Simeon recognises Jesus as the one who brings ‘light’ to all people.  It is an invitation for us to reflect on those times when the ‘light of Christ’ has shone through in our lives and in the world.   Those times when we have had a fresh insight into who Jesus is to us, as individuals, and when we recognise his presence with us.

Anna gave thanks to God that Jesus was the one that brought salvation to all.  Having recognised who Jesus is, Anna’s response was one of thanks and praise.  So, as we reflect on those moments when the ‘light’ of Christ has shone into our lives we are also thankful.  Through our celebration of Candlemass, we are thanking God for Jesus who came into the world to bring light into our lives.

Looking forward, the season of Lent will soon be with us.  On Ash Wednesday – 14th February – there will be a communion service in church at 7.30pm.  Then on Monday 19th February and the following three Mondays (26th Feb, 4th and 11th Mar), 7.30pm to 9pm, we are holding our Lent Study sessions.  This year we are focussing on some of the key words in the Hebrew Shema Prayer:

Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. And as for you, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Key words that help us to fully understand what is meant by listening to God and loving God.  There is a list at the back of church to let us know if you are planning to come along to these sessions.

Lord, light up the path for us wherever we may go,
that we may know your presence,
and be grateful for your love. Amen.