Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, otherwise known as Candlemas. As recorded in Luke 2:22–39, the child Jesus is met by the old man, Simeon, who has been watching and praying for the consolation, the salvation of Israel.
Many Greek Orthodox icons portray this wonderful moment, the meeting of the eyes of the old man and the young child, in fact, sometimes this feast is known as Hypapante, or the Meeting, in Greek.
Sometimes it seems to me that God uses the very old and the very young among us to teach us something new, something we had not been expecting. Simeon had been waiting for the consolation of Israel, not for a king to overthrow the Roman rule, but for a special kind of Messiah.
I know many of you find the loss of mobility frustrating and you can begin to wonder what value you have in the life of the church. Let Anna and Simeon be an example for you.
Sometimes in old age prayer can take on a special meaning and ministry, an ability that comes with age, to see what is really happening around you and to lift it to God in prayer. And sometimes the children in our midst can give us the promise we have been waiting for of a new beginning, a new chapter in the life of our church or community or family.
The old man Simeon and the prophetess Anna see in the child Jesus the redemption of the world. May we too have eyes to see and ears to hear the good things that God is doing among us!
From Alison Cozen’s sermon at St Margaret’s on 31 January 2016