The Presentation of our Lord

The “Presentation of our Lord” is celebrated in Ephiphany.

It is when Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple. Why? Galatians 4:4 tells us that “God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” Every male, on the eighth day after his birth, had to be circumcised. (Genesis 17: 21-24). By that rite the child was made a member of God’s covenant people; a “sacrament” of the Old Testament. By doing so, the child was obligated to be faithful to the writings of Moses and the Prophets.

Jesus, then, was “born under the Law”. His responsibility was to be perfect before His Father. And indeed He was! He “had no sin” (I John 3:5). His life went even further; redeeming others who were “under the law, that (they) might receive the full rights of sons”. (Galatians 4:5).

Our Savior was circumcised, at home, and His faithful family went to the Temple to celebrate that sacrament with the prescribed sacrifices (Leviticus 12: 6-8). A simple man, not a “priest”, not a “rabbi”….just a man named Simeon who was “righteous and devout” (Luke 2:25); “looking for the Consolation of Israel”. Upon seeing the baby Jesus, he took him in his arms and declared the words we, as Lutherans, know so well; the “Nunc Dimittis” (“Lord now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace…..”).

Anna, too, a “prophetess”, spoke at that time “of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38).

When we were baptized (I was, as an infant in Philadelphia, PA) we, too, were brought to our God; “putting on Christ” (Gal. 3: 27). Undoubtedly, no “renowned” pastor or priest baptized us; just a faithful “man of the cloth”. But the “comfort”, the “Consolation” before God, we needed was found….in Him our Redeemer. Unfortunately, I quickly fell away from the faith…. but by the grace of God I was restored to my baptismal faith at the age of 19……not by a famous preacher or clergyman; by a faithful witness of a simple woman in Christ.

Jesus fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17) for us; blessing us with His grace and forgiveness through Baptism and the proclamation of the Gospel. May we, like Simeon and Anna, look for opportunities to do the same! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!