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“And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.” (Luke 2:22)                     

We usually associate February 2 (this past Tuesday) with Groundhog Day and the brief appearance of a furry little creature who valiantly tries to predict the remaining length of our winter.  However, in the universal church calendar, February 2 is celebrated by Christians around the world as ‘Candlemas.’ 

Candlemas is the church calendar feast that highlights the story in the latter half of Luke 2 concerning Jesus, the Christ-child as he is presented at the temple by his parents.  Sometimes known as the ‘Feast of the Presentation’ this celebration arrives 40 days after Christmas Day.  Various countries have their own unique traditions in marking this feast.  For example, some Christians leave out some if not all of their Christmas decorations until this day.  Others make and serve crepes in celebration! Most have a tradition of lighting as many candles as possible in their houses.  If there is a time of worship arranged, participants carry candles in a procession and relive that moment when Jesus is ceremonially taken in and presented in the temple as per the law of Moses.

A key piece of the story is the recognition by the old temple priest Simeon that he has seen in the face of Jesus, the embodiment of the long awaited and promised salvation of the Lord. Simeon prays in thanksgiving: “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for the revelation to the Gentiles.” (Luke 2:31-32)

Despite the darkness of winter, the challenges of our lives and the unknown details of our personal futures, we may still turn our eyes to Jesus and know that he sheds the light of his grace on our world.  Such seeing is worthy of celebration.

To listen to the song “Turn Your Eyes” offered by Sovereign Grace Music, click on the following …