5 February 2015
The Gospel for the 5th Sunday in Epiphany ‘showing’ or ‘revealing’ Jesus. Being ‘Presented at the Temple. Below is the text for the next batch of reflections.
When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”, and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles,and the glory of your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
The Rev’d Canon Simon Moor – Vicar of Huddersfield Parish Church
Saturday 20th December 2014
I wonder what Joseph and Mary packed for their journey. Between themselves and the donkey, they had to carry everything they and the newborn would need, and remember that Mary was heavily pregnant. There would have been no satnav (not just because postcodes had not yet been invented!) and no facebook.
They would have struck out along the journey, not knowing exactly where they would end up. During the journey, they would spend time with each other, both in conversation and in silence.
Together, with God, they were all each other had, walking along side each other.
Let us find space to give each other that time and commitment this Advent season. Not thinking about where we will be next, or what someone has just posted, but committed to spending time. The focus on the person there with us rather than on the buzz of electronic activity. The focus on the present moment rather than the next job, the next meeting, or the next person. Let us be there.
Rev’d Simon Crook, Assistant Curate, HuddersfieldParish Church
Wednesday 17th December 2014
My sister-in-law once placed a model aeroplane on the top of her Christmas tree. For someone who is well versed in the Christmas story, I quickly pointed out the this unusual decoration was very appropriate. My sister-in-law was firstly amazed and then bemused – she had not meant to be so serious or scholarly. All became clear when I said the model aeroplane represented the “flight to Egypt”.
The story is related in the gospels how Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus make their escape from king Herod’s tyranny and murder and find themselves as refugees in Egypt.
Do you want to know the relevancy of the Christmas story? Refugees going to a foreign country to seek a safe place to exist? Why not see Mary and Joseph and Jesus in the refugee being abuse in this generous country of ours? Someone who is different suddenly can become a neighbour.
Shockingly we are called to ‘Love our neighbour as ourself’.
Rev’d Canon Simon Moor, Vicar of Huddersfield Parish Church
Wednesday 10th December 2014
It started before the manger, before the stable and the star, before the visits by angels and the ride on the donkey. It started with a betrothal, a promise between two people, Mary and Joseph, that they would love each other. It was into this human commitment of love that God the creator would become human and enter into creation. And even today, as we commit to one another, as we love another, as we stick with each other through good and bad, through joy and devastation, we see God’s goodness and love seeping through the world.
Rev’d Simon Crook, Assistant Curate, Huddersfield Parish Church