Meditation on the Feast of the Presentation 2023

Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 84; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40

Before you continue, why not get yourself a candle.

So as you think about Jesus the Light of the world, recognised by Anna and Simeon, and all the Christians in our community, reflect on all that He gives you, His Light in your life.

God is present everywhere. As the Psalmist says:

Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night’,
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139:7-12

We’re never beyond God’s reach, and that should always be a comfort.  We should also recognise Jesus’ presence in all those we meet. Christ the living Word, loves all people and indeed all of Creation. As with Anna and Simeon it’s our response that makes the difference – as the Holy Spirit enables us to recognise Jesus, and ignites that fire within us, so are we embraced by his Love.

Jesus calls us to shine as a lights in the world.  To allow His Light to shine within us. Sometimes keeping that light burning can be hard; there’s plenty to dim that flame in a world that doesn’t recognise or welcome His marvellous Light. And so we need to keep returning to Him to reacquaint ourselves with the warmth of His love.  Just as a flame needs oxygen so that it can burn brightly, to take time and make space to nourish our relationship with Him.

So light your candle and focus on its flame. Of course it’s just a candle flame, but today, it represents Christ’s living flame. The flame that burns continually and for everyone. Christ is Light for us as a Christian Community, and Light for each of us individually. Ultimately it’s our response to His Light that’ll make the difference. In the lighting of our candles we acknowledge where our true Light comes from, and we open ourselves up to His healing Light for ourselves and for the whole world and the many divisions in our society.

In a moment of quiet and stillness, focus on your lit candle, use it to draw your mind to Christ the Light of the world, the Light your soul long for, the light that lights your way; the light for our whole community and for the whole world.

As we light our individual candles, they represent Christ’s Light burning within each of us. A Light to dispel darkness and fear from our lives, a light to enlighten our minds, a light to brighten dull days and show each of us the path we must travel.

Christ’s Light is freely given, yet so precious. We’re indeed blessed by this Light, and as a result should bless others in return, and

 “let our lights so shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

Our lights unite us, coming from a single source symbolizing the one true Light of Christ. In this light we’re one with each other and one with Christ. Together we burn brightly to the glory of God.

As you hold your lit candle you may like to think of all those who’ve worshipped in our churches and community throughout their history and no doubt held their candles, as we do, for services in Advent, Christmas, Easter or Candlemas. Faithful souls who’re now with the Lord. 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Let us all as one shine as a single light in the world to the glory of God our Saviour.  


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