The Presentation

The Presentation

February 2 is not only Super Bowl. Nor is it only Groundhog Day. It is Candlemas or the Feast of the Presentation of Christ. You may read more about the events in Luke 2:22-38 which tells of the day in which Jesus was presented at the Temple in Jerusalem and Mary and Joseph paid the redemption tax of the first born. While in the Temple, Mary and Joseph are greeted by Simeon and Anna who both recognize Jesus and praise God for the gift of seeing the consolation and hope of Israel.

This sonnet is entitled, “Suddenly He Comes”.

Borne in arms to his house as a pilgrim
The Anointed who’ll bear our salvation;
Redeemer redeemed with two young pigeons
For the desire and wealth of the nations.
Suddenly, he comes to those who waited,
The refiner’s fire, promised fuller’s soap;
Simeon and Anna, made young again
Seeing Israel’s consolation and hope.
Lord, in the light of Candlemas I see
In the heart of my own mid-winter way
You gave your wealth, to become poor for me
That I might be young and long for the Day
When the sudden shaking of your revealing
Dashes the proud, but the poor and pierced, healing.

© Randall Edwards 2018.
This sonnet is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.
Artwork: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (La présentation de Jésus au Temple), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.27 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.27_PS1.jpg)

Suddenly He Comes

Suddenly He Comes

Rise and shine, campers, the Lord has suddenly come to his Temple!

February 2 is Candlemas and is the fortieth day after the church celebrates the birth of Jesus. The event is recorded in Luke 2:22-38, and recounts when Jesus was presented at the Temple in Jerusalem and his parents paid the redemption price for a firstborn son (Leviticus 12).

In the United States, the significance of the Lord’s sudden appearing as promised in Malachi 3:1-3 is either lost or ignored much as Jesus was by those in Jerusalem in his day. Instead, on February 2, we mark Groundhog’s Day imagined to be the half way point between the first day of winter and the first day of spring.

Borne in arms to his house as a pilgrim
The Anointed who’ll bear our salvation;
Redeemer redeemed with two young pigeons
For the desire and wealth of the nations.

Suddenly, he comes to those who waited,
The refiner’s fire, promised fuller’s soap;
Simeon and Anna, made young again
Seeing Israel’s consolation and hope.

Lord, in the light of Candlemas I see
In the heart of my own mid-winter way
You gave your wealth, to become poor for me
That I might be young and long for the Day
When the sudden shaking of your revealing
Dashes the proud, but the poor and pierced, healing.

© Randy Edwards 2018.
This sonnet is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.

Artwork: Saint Simeon with the Christ child. 2014. Oil on canvas. 90×70. Artist A.N. Mironov
By Andrey Mironov (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Suddenly He Comes

Suddenly He Comes

February 2 is Candlemas which is the day the church remembers the presentation of Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. At that time, Mary made offering for her purification (Leviticus 12:6-8) and Joseph paid the redemption price for the firstborn (Exodus 13:11-16).

It’s worth noting that Joseph and Mary made use of the provision for those who could not offer the stated sacrifice because of their poverty. In addition, this moment is the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord through Malachi, “The Lord, whom we seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.”

Malcolm Guite notes in his own sonnet and comments on Candlemas that the Lord first comes to his Temple as a pilgrim. This beautiful irony sparked my imagination in other ways. For example the One who ‘before Abraham was’ comes as a newborn, and this baby who is older comes to the eldest in the Temple (Simeon and Anna) who, seeing the sudden coming of the One for whom they have longed their entire life to see, are joyfully made young in the fulfillment of their desire and hope.

You may listen to me read the sonnet by clicking the player below.

based Luke 2:22-38; Malachi 3:1-3

Born in arms to his house as a pilgrim
The Anointed who’ll bear our salvation,
This first-born redeemed and two young pigeons
For the desire and wealth of the nations.
Suddenly he comes to those who long-waited
The refiner’s fire, the promised fuller’s soap;
Simeon and Anna are made young again
To see Israel’s consolation and hope.

O Lord, in the light of Candlemas I see
In the heart of this weary, winter’s way
You giving your wealth, becoming poor for me
That I might be young and long for the Day
When the sudden shaking of your revealing
Dashes the proud, but the poor and pierced healing.

© Randy Edwards 2017.
This sonnet is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.

artwork: The Presentation in the Temple, c. 1790-1795 by John Opie, 1761-1804; oil on canvas, National Gallery of Canada