Meeting Of The Lord In The
At the recent feast of our Lord Jesus Christ, we witnessed him submitting to the Law and being circumcised in the
So today we come to the second portion, according to the Old Covenant requirement, a woman was to wait thirty three days after circumcision before offering the first born son at the temple. "...and then she shall spend thirty-three days more ... and shall not enter the sanctuary until the days of purification are fulfilled" Leviticus 12: 4. In speaking to Moses, our God said, "Consecrate to me every first born that opens the womb among the Israelites ... for it belongs to me" Exodus 13: 2. The redemption of this first born male was to be a reminder that "...the Lord brought us out of
Mary and Joseph out of obedience to the command of God, journey once again to
Few teachings are more important and consistent in God's revelation to us than the doctrine of redemption. The Hebrew word is padhah, meaning to "to redeem by paying a price." The New Testament tells us Christ came to fulfill for us by his life, the very rite Mary and Joseph observed as they brought Christ to the temple on the fortieth day.
in a spiritual sense after our rebirth in the waters of Baptism so that we also become "sons" and daughters of our God. All need redemption and our God has provided it. The wonderful picture of us, however, is that we are not bought back from God by our natural parents. Rather, Christ buys us from our natural parentage which is sinful flesh, to impart to us the grace of our heavenly Father. We have been redeemed and we must continue to live as redeemed people. We must cooperate with the grace imparted us in baptismal water and live up to all its challenges so that salvation is ours personally. All this has been provided us, but we must make it our own. God has done his part so it remains for us to match up his almighty power with our eagerness and upright lifestyle.
Thus we see the meaning of what
Handed over to the holy priest Simeon, the parents of the Saviour had him wrapped in a blanket. His earthly parents lifted him along with Simeon to the eternal Father and in essence, purchased him from heaven, to stay among us for a short while, for a lost world to be reconciled. That baby one day will buy them and us from earth for the glory of everlasting heaven.
Today we see and witness the perfection and continuity of God's Word in Christ, the perfect joining of the Old Testament promise and New Testament fulfillment. No wonder Simeon is inspired to sing aloud "Now 0 Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace; for you have fulfilled your word. My eyes have seen your salvation displayed for all people to see; a redeeming light to the Gentiles, the glory of your people,
Being identified as the "Light" of the world, candles are today blessed to remind us of their holy reference to Christ and as reminder as we see them burning before us that in obedience, there is life, that in the consistent honoring of God's revelation to us, our relationship with the Holy Trinity grows and deepens. The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad. God's commandments are radiant and bright, making the eyes light up. God's ordinances are reliable and altogether righteous. Everything about Father, Son and Holy Spirit is consistency, stability and truth. Glory to our God!