25 Dec 2022 • Articles
After Christmas, are all your decorations packed away early, thank you letters written immediately for presents received and the colourful Christmas cards recycled almost as soon as the broken New Year resolutions have been discarded? Does 'Twelfth Night' mean to you a Shakespeare play, the day by which all evidence of Christmas must disappear, or the Eve of the Epiphany? It is possible to think of Christmas as continuing past Epiphany on 6th January, with the Kings visiting Jesus, and on to Candlemas on 2nd February, even though these weeks include thoughts of Jesus being baptised when he was 30 years old and beginning his ministry.
On the Feast of Candlemas the Church calendar takes a brief step back to remember Jesus as a baby, being taken by Mary and Joseph to be presented to God in the temple in Jerusalem. All parents used to do this on the fortieth day after the birth of a son, and St. Luke tells how two devout people, Simeon and Anna, recognised the baby Jesus as the God's revelation and the light of the world.
Not long after that we will be looking forward to eating delicious pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The tradition of pancakes started so that all the good things in the kitchen would be eaten up before Lent. This was not intended as a 'reducing diet' but to reduce temptation so that meals could be simple and plain for the next forty days while thoughts were directed towards Jesus Christ, who went hungry in the desert wilderness as he prepared to start teaching about his heavenly Father and the riches of heaven.
Is your life dedicated to God, like the life of Jesus, even if your food is more plentiful than the food in the desert? Have any children in your family been presented to God for his blessing? What do you do to helps you think about God? How do you show other people that God is important to you? These are questions which every Christian should ask themselves as they grow to maturity.
See yourself in the kindly light of Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the World,