The Collect: “Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Christ Jesus our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now land forever. Amen.”
The Response: Psalm 84 was led by David Maitland: *(verse 3) “Happy are they who dwell in your house! They will always be praising you.”
The First Lesson was Malachi 3:1-4, read by Joseph Avalos. Malachi prophesizes that God is sending a messenger to prepare the way for the Messiah. He states that the Lord of whom he speaks will appear to them in the temple.
The Second Lesson was Hebrews 2:14-18, read by John Greve. Paul explains that Jesus conquered death by dying himself on the cross. Through his resurrection, He destroyed Satan’s power of death and we no longer have to fear death. Jesus came to earth and lived as a human being just like others. Therefore, he can understand the trials and tribulations as one lives their lives.
Reverend Frnka read the Gospel of Luke 2:22-40. This is the account of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus as a baby to the temple to be presented. It was their custom that the first born son belonged to God. According to their law, they offered the necessary sacrifices.
There was a devout righteous man named Simeon on whom the Holy Spirit rested on. He was promised to be able to live until he saw the Lord’s Messiah. When he saw the baby Jesus in the temple, he took him in his arms and said this was the one. He could now die in peace. He blessed the parents and the baby and predicted great powers for Jesus.
There was also a prophet named Anna who was of great age never left temple, but worshiped and fasted there. When she saw baby Jesus she also began to praise God and speak of him as the redemption of Jerusalem.
Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth with Jesus and he grew strong, wise, and God favored him.
Reverend Frnka tells how this relates the incarnation of Jesus. He was born of man and woman, suffered, and lived as those around him did. He lived life to the fullest. Though Mary knew he was special, he was still her son. His mission had been validated by Simeon and Anna who proclaimed his seeds of possibilities. Salvation came in the nature of a child, but glory and power are to come. Jesus brought light into the world for all to see, no exceptions. He made it clear that salvation was not just for the Jews but also for the Gentiles.
Next Sunday at 9 a.m., St. Matthew’s will have Reverend James Abernathy as pastor. On Wednesday evening, 6 p.m. the ladies will meet for their activities. The church invites anyone interested to attend. PIM website.