the presentation of our lord
the PRAYER. . .
Almighty and ever-living God, your only-begotten Son was presented this day in the temple. May we be presented to you with clean and pure hearts by the same Jesus Christ, our great high priest, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, [Mary and Joseph] brought [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
the DEVOTION. . .
It must have been like a scene straight out of The Ten Commandments or Ben Hur! Blockbuster! Epic! A man and a woman – baby in arms – walking through crowded streets. Suddenly, right before them, there it is. The Temple. The house of god. Overcome. Dazed. They, humbly, enter into the glory, the grandeur. Bent. Bowed. They shuffle forward, hesitant, uncertain. Finally, they hand over the child to the priest. Turning toward the holy of holies, he lifts the baby and holds him out to god. Now, I don’t know if that’s, exactly, how it happened. But however it happened, it must have been impressive …
It’s a moment – the Presentation of Our Lord – we, don’t often, commemorate here in the church. Only when February 02nd falls on a Sunday, like this past one. But this time, I couldn’t help but wonder if we don’t have it all wrong. You see, faith isn’t about offering Jesus to god! It’s not about offering anything to god, for that matter! It’s god who does the offering, the presenting! To us! Especially when it comes to Jesus! The Presentation of Our Lord should be the story of Joseph and Mary leaving the Temple. And there, on the threshold of the Temple, holding out the baby to the whole world! Offering him to each and to every! Presenting! Bestowing! Imparting! After all, Jesus isn’t our gift to god … Jesus is god’s gift to us! God’s gift to all of us!
Bob Barndt, pastor