Simeon and Anna: inspiration and hope

One of the quietest of the Church’s festivals is the lovely Feast of Candlemas (February 2nd). We see the infant Jesus brought by Mary and Joseph into the Temple, following their Jewish law. We see the gentleness of the elderly Simeon and Anna, in the temple, worshipping, praying and thanking God for the gift of Jesus Christ, a light to lighten the world. (The Gospel reading for the feast from Luke’s Gospel can be found here.)

Here we see two elderly people, not complaining about how things have changed, not saying what a mess things are in, not criticising a younger generation. Rather different from ourselves at times, whatever our ages! Simeon and Anna are not wanting to be powerful or in control, not wanting attention drawn to themselves. They are not fearful of the future, their souls have not become bitter or wrinkled, but rather they are hopeful and expectant.

In Simeon and Anna we see growing old gracefully and with maturity. Here we see two different people not questioning a young family, but rather praising God for a life bringing hope and light to even the darkest areas of the world.

In this gentle and beautiful scene we ourselves find inspiration and hope, and an encouragement to pray, worship and be hopeful.

The Simeon window in St Chrysostom’s Church

Today: Look back on your infancy and childhood and remember, with prayer and thanks, those who encouraged you.

Give thanks and worship God, and, with hope,  today encourage someone younger than yourself in their journey of faith.

Prayer: Candlemas is the day when, remembering the Light of the World, the Church blesses candles.

Light a candle, either at home or in church, as a sign of light, hope and prayer for yourself and for someone of a younger generation.

Ever-living God, your Son Jesus Christ, was presented in the temple in flesh and blood like ours, and proclaimed a light to the world; cleanse our minds and hearts that we may meet you in your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ the everlasting light. Amen.

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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