February 2 is the Feast of the Presentation, when Jesus was presented in the temple 40 days after his birth, as required by Jewish Law. At that presentation, the aging Simeon sang: “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, your word has been fulfilled, my own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people…” used in Lutheran worship at a post-communion hymn.
This day is also called Candlemas. Falling midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox, Candlemas historically was a day to bring candles to church to be blessed. As a sign of new beginnings, many people commit to new goals on Candlemas.
This year, on February 2, you could wonder how much more winter you will see. You could focus on the returning light of lengthening days and blessing some candles. You could make new commitments. And you could join Simeon’s song that Jesus is a “light to reveal” God to the nations.
This message is excerpted from “Groundhog Day,” by Linda Post Bushkofsky in the January/February 2018 Gather magazine. Today is the festival of the Presentation of our Lord and Groundhog Day.
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