Sunday, February 2, 2014

Presentation at the Temple

In the film "The Lion King," Simba is lifted up by his father.  The future 'King of the Jungle' was to become a sign of hope and promise.  There is something very powerful and prophetic in this scene and many like it in movie and animation.  The child is shown to the people as someone who would become the leader and shepherd; heralding a new time and season.  To be sure Simeon's gesture of proclaiming the child is a moment of revelation for the hearers to understand that the Christ-child was not merely a nicety bestowed on us by God, but a communication to us of God's divine plan of salvation.

Simeon and Anna are presented to us as righteous people.  Their longing for the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God, their prayer and devotion are presented to us as evidence that these are indeed holy people.   To be sure because of their connection to the covenant, in addition to their understanding of God's love and mercy, they have the ability to recognize Jesus as the Christ.  And this is certainly good news for all of us.  Even in the midst of chaos and frustration they are still able to proclaim the 'greatness of the Lord,' helps us to understand the demeanor we need to undertake.

The experience of this small faith-filled communion saw the same pattern in Jesus’ earthly ministry – proclamation of the good news of God’s salvation followed by acceptance and belief by some and by opposition and crucifixion by others (the civil and religious establishment). But then God triumphs, raising Jesus to new life.

Our encounter with the Christ is a challenge and a call for conversion and discipleship.  This story is no exception.  We must as Christians to proclaim God’s salvation, by deed and in word, being mindful of the response we will evoke, and remembering that the crib of Bethlehem lies in the shadow of the cross at Calvary.

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