The Presentation of the Lord: Luke the evangelist tells us that Jesus was presented in the house of God, as the Law of Moses required. He also records how the Christ-child was greeted by Simeon and Anna, two figures who represented Israel’s longing to see the Redeemer promised by God. The evangelist gave Simeon a song to sing, the Nunc dimittis, which acclaims Jesus as the saving Light of God. To symbolize the enlightening truth of Christ the western Church developed the custom of blessing candles on this feast — hence its other title, Candlemas.
The chief title of today’s feast, “The Presentation,” comes from the ancient Jewish law that every firstborn son had to be dedicated to God’s service. But the Law of Moses allowed parents to redeem their child by offering something else instead. In Jesus’s case, Mary and Joseph offered the redemptive substitute which the law appointed for the first-born of poor parents, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Thus, paradoxically, the Redeemer himself was redeemed.
Many Christian writers have delighted to see the deepening of this paradox in the story of Simeon. In the fourth century, Ephrem of Edessa wrote: “When Simeon the priest received Christ into his arms and presented him to God, he understood that he was not offering Christ, but was himself being offered.”
In celebrating the feast of the Presentation, the people of the Church become like Simeon, who cradled the infant Light of salvation in the crook of his arm and knew him to be as fragile as a candle-flame. In baptism, in meditating upon Scripture, and in the Eucharist Christians cradle the same Light and take responsibility for the life of Christ in our world. And yet the paradox continues. Even as they hold Christ in their hands, they may discover that they are really in the crook of Christ’s arms, being presented by him in the sanctuary of God’s joy and glory. (The Anglican of Canada/For All the Saints)
Rector’s Message: If you are wondering about the ongoing Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-CoV) in Wuhan, China on what the church is doing in connection with our conduct of public worship, particularly the administration of the holy sacrament (bread and wine), last week, Archbishop Melissa Skelton announced during our regular clergy day meeting at the Synod office that she, together with some other people in our diocese, are now in the process of writing specific guidelines about the conduct of our public liturgy during this time. The safety of our congregation is the top priority of our church and we do not want our churches to be a place of transmission of this virus or any other disease that may impact the health of any one of us. We will inform you once we received the guidelines from the Archbishop’s office. We would also like to ask your prayers for all the people affected by this virus. May God heal those people. And, that we may be safe and be protected from this outbreak.
You may be aware that in the past, we have had medical emergencies in our parish. Parish Council members have considered purchasing an Automated External Defibrillator (A.E.D.) for our church. It will be included in our 2020 Parish budget. If you wish to make a donation towards this project, the parish will be grateful for your contribution. Then, we will conduct training on how to use an A.E.D.
I invite members of our parish to serve in the leadership team of St. Michael’s. Should you feel called to this ministry, you can talk to the Wardens or contact me at your convenience at, firstname.lastname@example.org