Reflections: Friday, The Fourth Week of Epiphany

Today’s Reading:  Luke 2:22-32

Daily Lectionary: Zech. 14:1-21, Titus 2:7-3:15

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word… (Luke 2:29)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Yesterday the Church celebrated the Presentation of Jesus (Luke 2:22-32). We heard about Simeon who  came to  the temple  to see Jesus. The Holy Spirit had promised Simeon he would see the Messiah before he died, and Simeon had waited a long time for this day. He held baby Jesus in his arms and praised God. Simeon sang “Lord, now are letting your servant depart in peace, your word has been fulfilled.” That should sound familiar. We regularly sing Simeon’s words in the Nunc Dimittis (Latin for “Now let your servant leave”) after Holy Communion.

We see the Holy Trinity working in this reading. All Christians confess faith in the Holy Trinity. There is only one God, but there are three distinct persons in God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is God, but they are not separate gods. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God (The Athanasian Creed (LSB p. 319) and the Small Catechism section on the Apostle’s Creed are good places to learn more about the Trinity.)

At Jesus’ Presentation, the Holy Spirit sent Simeon to see the Messiah. The Son, Jesus, is present in the flesh. And the Father lovingly sent His Son to do this gracious work. Simeon is led by the Holy Spirit to take up the Son in his arms and speak praise to the Father for what Christ will do to save.

When we go to Holy Communion, we know that the Holy Trinity is active. The Spirit draws us to faith through the Word and Sacraments. He gives us faith that Jesus died and rose to forgive our sins. The Son, Jesus, is truly present in the Supper. We partake of His body and blood under the bread and wine, and He gives us forgiveness, life, and salvation.  We thank and praise the Father for sending His Son to us, and together we pray to Him in the Lord’s Prayer.

At the Supper, you’re blessed in a similar way as Simeon was. You don’t see Christ with your eyes or lift Him in your arms, but you truly have Him. The Holy Spirit gives you faith, Jesus gives you Himself, and the Father gives you His Son.  So let us sing praise to God with the beautiful words Simeon spoke and remember the work of our triune God to save us. Amen. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, I thank and praise You for feeding me the life-giving body and blood of Your beloved son, Jesus Christ. Send Your Holy Spirit that, having with my mouth received the holy Sacrament, I may by faith obtain and eternally enjoy Your divine grace, the forgiveness of sins, unity with Christ and life eternal; through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.

-Pastor Jeffrey Horn is Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA,

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.