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The Presentation

The Feast of the Presentation

A 4-year-old boy named Johnny was asked to give thanks for the Christmas dinner feast.
The family
members bowed their heads in expectation.
He began his
prayer, thanking God for all his friends, naming them one by one.
Then he thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles.
Then he began to thank God for the
Johnny gave thanks for the turkey, the dressing, the fruit salad, the cranberry sauce, the pies, the cakes,
even the Cool Whip.

Then he paused, and everyone waited--and waited.
After this long silence, Johnny looked up at his mother and asked,
If I thank God for the broccoli, won't he know that I'm lying?"

This is the feast of the presentation. It is a major day in the church calendar and many of us do not know much about this important day which is always held on February 2nd. It is always forty days after Christmas and because of that it usually does not fall on a Sunday. But here we are. Its Sunday. Its February 2nd and we celebrate the feast of the presentation. We thank God that Jesus came into our lives and showed us The Way.

In the gospel reading we have two prophesies, one from Simeon and one from Anna and I like the gender balance in this. Simeon was promised by the holy spirit that he would live to see the messiah and he senses that this is the one. And then the prophet Anna, a very devout aged woman says the same thing. They both praise God. They thank God that the messiah has finally arrived.

I want to talk about Mary and Joseph. Lets look at all that has happened to them so far. Mary became pregnant out of wedlock. Joseph gets his mind changed from quietly divorcing her through a dream. The child is born in lowly circumstances. Wise men come bearing gifts. This new family then fled to Egypt for a time because of Herod. Now they are told again that their son is the Messiah. That he is going to be responsible for the rising and falling of many in Israel. Lastly, a sword will pierce their own souls.

I would not wish these kinds of events on any mother or father. In our bible study this week the question was asked what do you think would be the impact of these words on Mary and Joseph? A sword will pierce your own soul. The first thing any parent wants is to protect their child from harm. The family has just returned from Egypt doing just that. Now they are being told something painful is going to happen. Something emotionally crushing. There is joy in discovering that your child is destined for great things and a kind of helplessness in hearing that something tragic will happen to him. It would not be easy being in these parents shoes. I admire them

Jesus was not the kind of messiah the Jews were expecting. He did not raise armies and throw out the Roman occupation. However, he did change the world. And he continues to change it today. It is not just his words that are making that change. It is those of us, you and me, who are inspired by those words. We are following his commandments to love God and love one another. We show that love by caring for each other, by helping the elderly with activities at nursing homes, by visiting with worshipers after the Sunday service and when we do the peace, by volunteering our time and treasure in so many ways in our community and by moments of thoughtful prayer.

May we never forget who we are and why we are here.


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