Spring is upon us! The days are getting longer. When I was in Oldham at St James the ladies always commented that from the second Sunday in February you could eat your Tea without lighting the Gas.
On 2nd Feb we celebrate the Presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple; the Jewish custom was to bring a new baby to be presented in the Temple forty days after the birth. On the same day we celebrate the Feast of Candlemas – light is being restored in the world; darkness has been overcome. Candles are blessed and taken home; in the past they would have been the only evening light in the house.
In the Temple Mary and Joseph meet Simeon, a very old man who had been promised by the Lord that he would see the Messiah before he died. He holds the child and recites the beautiful words of the Nunc Dimittis – we repeat his words each month at our service of Compline.
We are almost in Lent – Ash Wednesday is on the 26th Feb. Let us make a resolution that this will be a time of prayer and preparation; it doesn’t have to be a time of “giving up” but should be a time for doing something extra as we prepare ourselves for the momentous events of Holy Week and Easter.