Staff Blogger: Rev. Dr. Norman “Ned” Dewire, Director of Religious Life & Church Outreach
In Luke’s Gospel, there is a story in 2:22-40 of Jesus’ parents taking Him to the Temple so He “could be designated as holy to the Lord.”
At Lakeside, many of us have presented children for the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, in which we acknowledge that our child is from God, is of God, and we pledge to raise the child as a gift from God.
One of the enjoyable experiences I have at Lakeside Chautauqua is to hear the chatter of people talking to one another. Children, youth and adults of all ages enjoy each other and the beauty of God’s creation.
In today’s Scripture, Jesus’ identity as the Messiah is affirmed by two persons, a “righteous man Simeon” and a “female prophet, 84 years old, named Anna.” They both talked about Jesus and what difference He will make in the world. Keep the chatter going at Lakeside.
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.