Presentation of The Lord – February 2, 2020

PresA20.   Malachi 3:1-4.   The Lord God himself speaks that he is to send a messenger ahead of him who will burn away all impurity, “like the refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye.”  “But who will endure the day of his coming?” Purification for the Hebrews was an essential custom among the people.  God is the One and only Almighty One and everyone who belongs to him and stands before him must be ritually pure in Judaism.

Luke 2: 22-40.   “When the days were completed for their purification according to the Law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord.”  What the law or Torah required was that, since the first born male belonged to the Lord, he had to be redeemed or bought back from God so to live as a member of his birth parents by an offering of five shekels.  Secondly any discharge of blood during the woman’s delivery required an offering of a lamb or, if the family were poor, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” to render her pure “in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.” There were two special holy people of the temple, one man Simeon, one woman, Anna who were witnesses with the greatest of credentials that this is the child for whom “all who were awaiting the redemption of Israel.” “Simeon blessed them (Jesus parents) and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel (and everywhere else), and to be sign that will be contradicted – and you yourself a sword will pierce—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” In our own lives do we from the very depths of our being show that Jesus is our Messiah and Savior?  Do we accept Jesus as the life giving force of our life that shares/inserts some of his divinity or grace into our lives or do we choose to be just another earthly animal devoid of the spiritual? Jesus said in John 6:54-6, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”  He gives us something of his very self so that we have him as our spiritual life.  Without Jesus we are just the dirt of this earth. It is our choice to fall into hell or to rise into heaven with the acceptance or rejection of God’s help, his life or grace within us.

Hebrews 2:14-18.   “Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them” by sacrificing his own blood and flesh so that he might redeem us from our sinfulness. Our sinfulness rejects, while living on this this earth, the heavenly life, and in the end be buried in this world’s sinfulness, its dirt.  “Therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people” by offering himself up on the cross.  He was subjected to “the refiner’s fire,” “the fuller’s lye” to make us acceptable to his and our Father.