“Now when the days of her [Mary’s] purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they [Joseph & Mary] brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’ ), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, ‘A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.’” (NKJV)
February 2 is celebrated in many Christian churches as “The Presentation of Our Lord.” The entire story, including the role of Simeon as well as Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, is recorded in Luke 2:22-40.
At our Circuit Visitors’ meeting at CID HQ, District President Miller made an interesting observation which gave me a new wrinkle in my brain. It will probably show up in a sermon next December / January, so consider it properly footnoted here.
Our Lord Jesus, noted D.P. Miller, was sent to fulfill the Law of Moses and all God’s Commandments. Yet as a Baby our Savior needed the help of His earthly parents to fulfill the holy rite regarding the redemption of the first-born son. Without His parents bringing Him, that part of Moses’ civil and religious law for the Israelites would have gone unfulfilled. By God the Father’s wisdom, He chose a pious and faithful mother and adoptive father for our Lord. They took Jesus to all the feasts, including Passover, in accord with God’s commands to Moses and the Levitical Priesthood of the Old Covenant. Satisfying all these demands, Christ was able to establish a New Covenant / Testament based upon His Mercy and His works on our behalf.
The application in our day is just as striking. Christ has placed the Great Commission upon the Church, including our parish, and our families, to “make disciples from among all the nations, by baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and by teaching them to preserve all things whatsoever I have instructed them; and in this way I am with you always, even unto the end of the Age.”
God the Father was well-pleased to have Jesus’ parents help Christ to fulfill His part in the Salvation Story. Today parents have the duty, privilege, and pleasure to help the LORD God of Israel fulfill His Son’s work. Parents, fathers and mothers both, are to bring their children to be baptized of Water, Word, and Spirit. Then they are to continue to help God save their children eternally by bring them to Sunday School, VBS, Confirmation, and regular church service attendance all their lives. Then they are to assist doing the same with their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. Through our congregation, they are to do the same for other families by helping at Sunday School, etc.
So, Joseph and Mary showed us the way. God relied upon them to help His Only-Begotten Son fulfill His life’s work to save the human race. May our parents & grandparents in the same way take up their noble task which we hear and see this Feast of the Presentation!