Tomorrow, February 2, is the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple—as we call it in the Episcopal Church, an event that the Church, early in her pilgrimage (the early 400s, to be exact) realized it was important to celebrate. We are transferring this feast to Sunday, February 7, so to celebrate it together as community.
What is the importance of this event? It is another epiphany and thus God sharing again and more. Indeed, as Simeon, the “righteous and devout man” who comes to the temple, says as takes the child Jesus in his arms and praises God, “Master…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.” (Luke 2:30-32)
This revelation, of course, extends to us. We Christians never simply recall past events. We celebrate God present, Jesus, Light of the world, in our midst, the Risen Lord alive, sharing Himself. We celebrate Jesus, as our second reading (Hebrews 2:14-18) says, who “because he himself was tested by what he suffered, is able to help those who are being tested.”
Jesus is more present than you realize, especially in your struggles. Jesus is with you in any and all suffering: in your aching body, in your frightened heart, in your lonely space, in the family tension, in the job search, in your struggles to pray. We indeed have every reason to hope.
Yours in the light of Christ,
The Rev. Dominique Peridans