Janet`s February 2019 letter to the Community

Dear Friends

The festival that marks the end of the Christmas and Epiphany season, and begins to turn our attention to Lent, Holy Week and Easter is the feast of Candlemas, or the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.  It is celebrated on the 2nd February, or the nearest Sunday, because that is 40 days after Christmas.

The Gospel of Luke tells us that, when Jesus was taken to the Temple as a baby to be presented to God, an old man, Simeon, took him in his arms, praised God and prophesied that Jesus would become “… a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2.34).  The reference to light led to the tradition of including as part of the celebration of this festival, the blessing of all the candles that would be used to light the church during the coming the year – hence Candlemas!

Jesus himself repeated the claim that he would be “light” when he said “I am the Light of the World” (John 8. 12).  Light is necessary for life and direction.  The Christian faith teaches that Jesus is the source of the light we need.

But as I pondered this truth, I was also struck that, in the passage from the Gospel of Matthew that we call the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said to his followers, “You are the light of the world … let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

So Jesus is the light and we are to be light.  God gives us his light, his life, his wisdom, his guidance and we are called to spread that light to those around us, to be light for people who need it, to live out God’s life in “good deeds” that will bring help to others and glory to God.  A bit of a challenge as we move through 2019!


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