Reflections: The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord

Today’s Reading: Luke 2:22-32

Daily Lectionary: Zechariah 12:1-13:9; Titus 1:1-2:6

When the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, [Mary and Joseph] brought [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. (Luke 2:22)

 In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The next time we will hear about Jesus is 12 years down the road when Mary and Joseph return to the temple with Him. Calling it His “Father’s house” then, Jesus amazes everyone with “His understanding and His answers” (Luke 2:49, 47). Today, it is Simeon who is amazed. 

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).

In his own arms at that very moment was Simeon’s God, placing Himself under His own Law (Exodus 13:1-2) to do for us what we could never do for ourselves: to keep His law perfectly, without sin. Simeon knows “a pair of doves or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24; Leviticus 12) will be just fine for this One. For here, in this One, in Jesus, is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Simeon also knew, in that moment, that he was holding the One you and I now hold in the “arms of faith.” For this is the same Jesus given to us in Baptism, in the Absolution, in the preaching of the Gospel, and at the Holy Supper. It’s the same Jesus who placed Himself under His own Law and kept that Law perfectly. Who suffered and died for all our sins on the Cross. Who now presents you and me holy and blameless to His Father in heaven, without sin, justified, heirs to eternal life.

And that means, like Simeon, that you and I get to marvel now, too. For you and I, also, will die in peace now. Free from all our sins. Free from death. Free from wrath. Free from judgment. Free from hell. Free from having to save ourselves. For that is the salvation God has prepared for us, too, in the sight of all people, in Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty and ever-living God, as Your only begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, grant that we may be presented to You with pure and clean hearts; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of our Lord)

-Rev. Bradley Drew is pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch

Pastor-psychiatrist duo Rev. A. Trevor Sutton and Dr. Brian Smith have teamed up to help you evaluate your technology use through a Christian perspective. Learn how to form healthy, faithful technology habits with Jesus at the center. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.