Today, February 2, we celebrate the presentation of our Lord Jesus in the temple; it is the last day of the Christmas season.
Today’s commemoration is recorded in these words from the gospel:
“When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus 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” (Luke 2:22-35).
I invite you to meditate on this text and ponder the significance of this day. May we, like Simeon and Anna in the temple, recognize Jesus as our Messiah, joining together in prayer that, as Jesus was presented in the temple, we might be presented before God by Jesus with pure and clean hearts:
Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by the same Jesus Christ our Lord; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.