Today, according to the Liturgical Calendar, is a festival known as Candlemas. While it isn’t celebrated or kept by many denominations today, it provides us with a chance to bring our focus back to Jesus.
Traditionally, Candlemas had a two-fold purpose. Firstly, it celebrates the presentation of the baby Jesus to the temple. Secondly, it was a day to focus on how Christ is both King and Light of the World. This is because, in Luke 2: 21-40, Simeon says of Jesus,
“…He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel…”
In the couple of verses where Simeon speaks, he ends with the prophetic reminder that Jesus has comes as a light in this world. Jesus’ purpose while on earth was to reveal God to God’s people, Israel.
While we might not be Jews, accepting Christ as our Saviour means we have been grafted on to Abraham’s family tree (Romans 11:11-31). This makes us part of Israel and therefore Jesus came to reveal God to us as well. In fact, He still shines a light on the true nature of God whenever we read from the Bible.
So while Candlemas might have traditionally been about blessing candles for the coming year*, this year we are turning back to focusing on the Light of the World. Let Simeon’s words direct you back to why Jesus came to be with us here on earth.
Lord Jesus Christ,
light of the nations and glory of Israel:
make your home among us,
and present us pure and holy
to your heavenly Father,
your God, and our God.
Anglican Collect for Candlemas
*I’m not sure blessing light bulbs will have the same effect.