Mrs Stothard’s Sunday School
In this week’s Sunday School, our beloved Bishop’s Visitor, Mrs. Stothard, and the wonderful Reverend Gabel, share the story of the Candlemas and words of reflection with us.
Trust Forgiveness Peace Thankfulness Compassion Friendship Love Hope Perserverance
Candlemas is celebrated on February 2nd. We shall be celebrated it this Sunday in our churches. It is the celebration of baby Jesus being presented at the Temple 40 days after Christmas.
The time came for Joseph and Mary to perform the ceremony of purification as the Law of Moses commanded. So they took the child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. Every first born male is to be dedicated to the Lord. They also went to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons as required by the law of the Lord.
At that time there was a man named Simeon living in Jerusalem. He was a good God-fearing man and was waiting for Israel to be saved. The Holy Spirit was with him and he assured him that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s promised Messiah. Led by the spirit Simeon went into the Temple to do for him what the Law required. Simeon took the child into his arms and gave thanks to God.
Now Lord, you have kept your promise and you may let your servant go in peace.
With my own eyes I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples.
A light to reveal your will to the Gentiles and bring glory to your people Israel.
The child’s father and mother were amazed at the things Simeon said about him. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against and so reveal their secret thoughts, and sorrow like a sharp word will break your own heart.”
There was a very old prophetess, a widow named Anna. She had been married for only seven years and was now 84 years old. She never left the Temple, day and night she worshipped God, fasting and praying. That very same hour she arrived and gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were waiting for God to set Jerusalem free.
A few words from Reverend Lee Gabel
A reflection for Candlemas 2021
Luke 2. 22-40
Candlemas brings the ancient season of light to an end. The season that began on Christmas Day, at the darkest time of year. By the time we get to Candlemas the nights are noticeably shorter – we still have a way to go yes – but they are shorter. Candlemas was a feast day used to bless the candles in the church, originating as far back as the fifth century. It Brings Christmas and Epiphany to an end and turns our gaze to Lent.
At Candlemas we remember the time when the light of the world, which had been out in the world now enters the temple – the church – for the first time. The light is now symbolically in the church. The baby Jesus is taken to the temple to be consecrated as a first-born male as custom demands.
Simeon and Anna did not rush, in the great Christmas story they are a month late, the wise man have gone back home, the shepherds are back on the hill side. Perhaps there is a distinction between waiting and dithering, being patient and being delayed. Simeon and Anna, bide their time, they dare not leave the temple, unless they miss their date with destiny. Others must journey, they must wait. During Lockdown we find ourselves with little option but to wait.
Lockdown has perhaps forced us to be patient, to have to wait for things, whether that is seeing loved ones, or getting married, having baptisms, so much has been put on hold because of Lockdown. We must wait and be patient.
Candlemas this year reminds us of the patient waiting and preparing we did all through Lockdown and tells us that we perhaps have a little more to do. Like Simeon and Anna, we are to keep waiting, but that message of Candlemas is that Jesus will seek us out. Waiting for God waiting for the light to come, and it will come; the dark skies of winter will give way to spring and the radiant light of Easter morning.
I wish you all many blessings,