“He will be a sign from God that many people will not accept.” Luke 2:34
Well, it seems hard to realise that Christmas was 40 days ago. While many people do not accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord, very few can totally ignore Christmas, his ‘official’ birthday, so perhaps Simeon who prophesied the words above is being a bit too downbeat.
Today some Christians are celebrating the feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, also known as Candlemas.
In Jesus’ time, a Jewish first-born son would be taken to the Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated to God on the fortieth day since his birth, which also marked the completion of his mother’s ritual purification.
It was there they met an old man called Simeon, who spoke of Jesus redeeming the
world, and an old woman, Anna, who spoke to everyone there of his importance.
In Luke’s Gospel, Joseph and Mary offer the least costly offering expected at this ceremony of two young pigeons. This reminds us that Jesus was not brought up in a wealthy environment; otherwise they would have been able to afford a lamb.
Jesus, born in a stable, forced to become a refugee, raised in relative poverty, rejected by many of his contemporaries, and executed, rose again and tasked his closest followers, to spread his message of love and peace to the world.
Prove Simeon to have been too pessimistic; accept Jesus.
Rev. Andrew Sarle,
Falkirk Presbytery Clerk and locum at Bainsford Parish Church