Forty days after Christmas during Epiphany there is a special day called, “The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.” The lesson for the day is taken from the Gospel of Luke where he describes the event when Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple. At this time, they offer a sacrifice and dedicate Jesus to the Lord. Two prophecies occur, one by Simeon and the other by Anna. Luke tells us, “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.” (2:38)
This day marks a turning point in the liturgical calendar because we are almost through Epiphany and are approaching Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday is quite early this year on February 17.
As the year moves along don’t get lost in the busyness of life. It’s important to continue to practice the spiritual disciplines of worship, prayer study and work. In Benedictine spirituality there was a balance of all these four aspects of life. Of course, Lent is the one season of the year when we pay special attention to the practice and development of our spiritual life.
One of the best ways to begin the day is through Morning Prayer. One of the collects we say is for the “Renewal of Life.”
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Mark T. Crawford