From the Pastor's Pen
IT'S ABOUT LIGHT(S) - Two of last Sunday’s readings referred to Zebulun and Naphtali. These were the first areas of Israel to be in the darkness of the Exile. They were conquered and the people taken away. So it’s very pointed that, as Isaiah predicted, these would be the first places to receive the light of the Savior. “The people in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwelt in gloom, a light has shone.” If we feel darkness, we are to wait patiently and in faith until God reveals his light.
And, when you see the candles still in the windows of the rectory, they’re not leftover Christmas decorations. Candles have been used for ages as signs of welcome and warmth. I like to leave lights in the windows while it’s still dark in the early evening. As Easter approaches, so the sun’s light extends again.
Today’s feast is also a feast of light. Yes, it’s 40 days since Christmas, and since Feb. 2-the Presentation, ”Candlemas,” - falls on a Sunday, we get this wondrous feast when Mary and Joseph fulfilled the law by presenting their child at the temple, and learned more about him. The prophet Simeon immediately recognized him: “A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel”. So with the Jews, he is our Savior too.
St. Paul had a great teaching last Sunday that bears repeating. He noticed people in the church assembly at Corinth dividing themselves by their allegiance to various humans—Paul, Apollos, Cephas. But in the church assembly we are there to praise and honor Christ. “Has Christ, then, been divided into parts?” No, he hasn’t. And in a turbulent time of national politics, we need to take care not to divide ourselves within the church assembly. We think and act in matters of government and politics when we have to; but when we come together to praise God, our allegiance is with him and his Son, not any human. That’s what we share with each other in the church assembly. This will be important as the rest of this year and beyond will be filled with these things.
LET'S BE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS!